Ailing league champions Nkana’s battle for survival showed no progression on Thursday when they lost 2-1 at home in Kitwe to Forest Rangers.
Nkana came into the game on the back of a two-match unbeaten competitive run following a 2-2 league home draw with Green Buffaloes on April 1 in Kitwe and a 1-0 CAF Confederation Cup away win in Tanzania over Namungo on April 4.
But Thursday’s loss in Wusakile saw Nkana return to old ways and still stuck third from bottom and now have fifteen games in which to ensure their top-flight survival.
Yvan Echaba put Forest ahead in the 12th minute after capitalizing on some bad defending by Nkana when the unmarked striker effortlessly headed-in Lameck Silwaba’s chip that had flown over four defenders.
Nkana hit back in the 18th minute in very fortunate circumstances when Emmanuel Mwiinde bundled in Obeddy Masumbuko’s corner.
However, Forest again thrived on Nkana’s backline frailties in the 30th minute when Thomas Chideu ghosted behind defender Richard Ocran to head in an easy cross from Silwaba that the latter had failed to jump for and was severely punished for his poor judgment.
Forest then enjoyed the luxury of soaking up Nkana’s tame attacks in the second half to earn themselves the three points that saw them jump from sixth to third on 35 points, two points behind second placed Zanaco and another eight points adrift of Zesco United.
Nkana are stranded third from bottom at number 16 on 21 points and are two points behind Buffaloes who occupy the top of the bottom four relegation places at number 15.