There will be a brand new champion etched on the Barclays Cup trophy this season after a dramatic semifinal doubleheader at Woodlands Stadium in Lusaka that saw a giant fall and a Kitwe derby showdown that did not disappoint.
2014 runners-up Nkana are smelling their debut Barclays Cup title after a riveting 5-4 post -match penalty victory over ten-man Power Dynamos following an equally dramatic and controversial 2-2 full-time draw.
Jimmy Dzingai put Power ahead in the 6th minute but Ronald Kampamba and Kelvin Mubanga ensured Nkana went into the break leading 2-1 with goals in the 26th and 42nd minutes respectively.
Kenya striker Elvis Rupia restored parity in the 52nd minute against the run of play with his debut goal for Power, and four minutes later, they were very fortunate to still be tied when Kampamba hit the woodwork.
The drama continued into the last ten minutes when Power captain Alex Ngonga was sent off for stomping Fred Tshimenga in the 84th minute.
Then, deep into stoppage time, Nkana thought they had won it when Idris Mbombo converted a rather soft penalty.
However, referee Jan Sikazwe erased the spot-kick in controversial fashion for an infringement by Walter Bwalya when it was taken before the lottery of penalties decided the semifinal.
And the shootout didn’t disappoint either when Nkana goalkeeper Allan Chibwe and Power number one Jackson Kakunta out-did each other with five and four stops respectively.
But Fidel Bosandja’s kick in sudden death was saved by Chibwe to send Nkana to the Promised Land.
Nkana will face second tier side Young Buffaloes in the final on November 10 at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Young Buffaloes reached their debut final after another big kill this time they beat 2015 champions Green Buffaloes 4-3 on post-match penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Emmanuel Mwiinde put Young Buffaloes ahead in the 45th minute before Mubita Yubia leveled in the 80th minute and the tied later decided on penalties.
Young Buffaloes’ semifinal victory came a month after they eliminated outgoing champions Zanaco 2-1 in the quarterfinals on September 29 in Kitwe.