Zesco United reclaimed their eight -point lead on the 2018 FAZ Super Division log but earned it the hard way thanks to an inspired performance by ‘Chingalika’ Kitwe United goalkeeper Lameck Siame.
Zesco beaten Kitwe United 2-1 at the Trade Fair Grounds to ensure they stayed eight points clear at the top of the table with five games left to play.
But it took a whole 78 minutes for Zesco to breach Kitwe United after Siame frustrated them with a convincing display between the post for a second successive high profile match.
Siame’s display was a repeat of another outstanding afternoon on September 9 in a 0-0 home Kitwe derby draw against Nkana in which he denied Walter Bwalya three sure chances.
In Ndola, Siame shutout Mwape Mwelwa in the 9th minute, Enock Sabumukama in the 17th and twice denied Lazarus Kambole in the 29th and 40th minutes.
However, Zesco’s lifeline came for a very fortunate penalty in the 78th minute after striker Jesse Were stumbled on the ball in the area unimpeded but referee Wisdom Chewe was convinced there was some malice in the act.
Were dusted himself to take the penalty that Siame kept out with his feet but the Kenyan international was ready on the rebound and made no mistake.
Were completed his brace in stoppage time with a sweet strike that beat Siame hands down to validate Zesco’s win in a game they denominated but were clearly frustrated by the visiting goalkeeper.
Kitwe United only threatened in the five minutes of stoppage time when striker Jimmy Ndhlovu equalized from the penalty spot in the 94th minute.
But he sandwiched the goal with two great misses when he hit the woodwork in the 91st minute and skied a close-range shot in the 95th minute.
Meanwhile, Zesco have 73 points while second placed Nkana and Green Buffaloes have 65 points.
United are safe for another season at number 12 on 41 points after returning this year to the FAZ Super Division for the first time since 2006.