FAZ Super Division champions Zesco United have two games in which to save their title defence after FAZ announced on Friday that the 2019/2020 season will now be concluded in the next two games due to a spike in Covid-19 cases.
The FAZ executive committee sat on Thursday in Lusaka and resolved to cut the season that restarted on July 18 after a four-month lockdown from nine to two rounds with this weekend’s fixtures being the penultimate stage.
Pressure is now Zesco to win their last two games and hope the football gods rule in their favour as the champions trail in fifth place and five points behind leaders NAPSA Stars who took command on Friday following a 2-0 home win over Buildcon in what is now a five-horse race for the 2019/2020 crown.
Victory for Napsa in their final game next week against Forest Rangers will end Zesco’s ambitions of an unprecedented fourth successive league title, leaving the eight-time champions to scramble for a prospective second place finish.
And so Saturday beckons for Zesco who visit Lusaka Dynamos who are seventh and out of the championship race on 40 points but still in contention for a CAF Confederation Cup qualification that is guaranteed with a third or fourth finish.
In-between, they is Zanaco who have 42 points who have an outside chance of finishing second in the unlikely situation that the five champion contenders tumble this weekend.
Meanwhile, Zesco beat Dynamos 4-1 in the first leg in Ndola last October 30 but the dynamics have suddenly changed following the hosts’ appointment during the lockdown of ex-Chipolopolo boss Wedson Nyirenda.
Nyirenda enjoys legendary status at Zesco whom he led to their debut league title in 2007 and successfully defended it.
It is elementary that a draw this weekend will end Zesco’s run who have never finished outside the top two since 2012 when they ended that term at number three.