Nkana ended their almost two –month long, five-game losing run on Thursday in dramatic fashion with a late rally in a 2-2 home draw against fellow strugglers Green Buffaloes at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe.
It was a game of two halves with Green Buffaloes running riot in the first half against a Nkana side that was chasing shadows in that period after handing four players debuts in the starting XI who included ex-Zambia defender Emmanuel Mbola who signed as a free agent.
Buffaloes took a deserved lead in the 10th minute through a solo run by Friday Samu.
Nkana then suffered a setback in the 24th minute when key striker Simon Mulenga was stretchered off after suffering a right thigh injury and replaced by Emmanuel Mwiinde who stuttered into the break.
The defending FAZ Super Division champions then survived an embarrassing episode in the 37th minute when Zimbabwean defender Jimmy Dzingai’s back-pass was not read by compatriot and goalkeeper Talbert Shumba, but fortunately for both, the ball rolled marginally wide of the post.
But Nkana were a different side after the restart thanks to two changes coach Kelvin Kaindu made when winger Ackim Mumba and midfielder Obbedy Masumbuko came on for Harrison Chisala and new boy David Ambokile respectively.
Masumbuko’s vision and Mumba’s pace on the right wing put pressure on Buffaloes for most of the second half.
It paid off in the 84th minute when Mwiinde pounced on the rebound to slot in Mumba’s cross that had bounced off the beam.
But midfielder Jack Chirwa put Buffaloes back in the lead in the 86th minute following a bulldozing move that involved him, Samu and Youremember Banda.
However, Mumba restored parity in the 88th minute with a fine volley to hand Nkana their first point since beating Tihad Casablanca 2-1 at the same venue on February 14 in a CAF Confederation Cup pre-group stage fixture.
Nkana, though, have yet to win a league match since February 4 when they beat Nkwazi 2-0 away in Lusaka.
The result sees both sides stay put with Nkana at 16th on 21 points and Buffaloes 14th on 23 points.
Meanwhile, Nkana now pack their bags and head to Tanzania on Friday ahead of Sunday’s CAF Confederation Cup Group D game against Namungo in Dar es Salaam.