Zesco United’s 2018 CAF Champions League quarterfinal dreams were dashed on Tuesday at home in Ndola following a 1-1 draw with Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
The result saw Zesco finish third in Group D on 6 points, three points behind Primeiro Agosto of Angola who beat them to second place and booked the second quarterfinal slot behind pool toppers Etoile who had already qualified with two games to spare after finishing on an unassailable 12 points.
Agosto progressed at the expense of Zesco following a 2-1 home win over Mbabane Swallows of eSwatini in Luanda on the same afternoon.
Meanwhile, Zesco took the lead in the 7th minute through Lazarus Kambole to see him close his African campaign this season on seven goals.
Zesco went on to dominate the first half whose major highlight saw goalkeeper Makram Bdiri leave the pitch with a suspected concussion following an on-the-line collision with Zesco striker Winston Kalengo and was replaced by Achraf Krir.
But affairs changed in the second half mostly thanks to the dreaded free kicks of Mohamed Arbi who questioned Zesco’s backline in the 59th and 68th minutes.
However, his third attempt in the 70th minute was met by Etoile captain and midfielder Rami Bedoui on the far post who extinguished Zesco’s hopes of a first Group D home win and second in the tournament in Ndola since February 21 when they beat JKU of Zanzibar 7-0 at Levy in the preliminary stage.