Nkana sent a statement about their survival hopes on Saturday following a 2-1 home win over Prison Leopards at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe.
The victory handed third from bottom Nkana its second successive league victory from three home games in May that boosted their survival hopes with six games left to avoid demotion.
Zimbabwe defender Gilroy Chimwemwe scored and provided an assist on the day as Nkana also avenged their 2-0 first leg away loss to Prison on December 30.
Chimwemwe put Nkana ahead with a rather speculative shot from range in the 28th minute that Prison goalkeeper Charles Kalumba let in by his very own high standards.
Kalumba fumbled with the ball before spilling it and letting it roll into the back of his net to hand Nkana the lead.
But Prison’s redeemed them in the 44th minute when David Obashi was teed off by Junior Zulu to equalize to send the two teams 1-1 into halftime.
The second half was a rather untidy affair for both sides but Nkana’s 68th minute substitute Fred Tshimenga, who replaced Duke Abvuya, scored the winner in the 88th minute to ensure the vital three points
Nkana stay put at number 16 but now have 34 points and are two points behind Napsa Stars who lost 4-2 at home in Lusaka to Green Eagles on the same date.
Napsa and Nkana have six and five games left to make sure they survive the drop while Prison’s are 13th on 38 points with four games left for them to keep the duo from dragging them into the thick of the bottom four relegation fight.
Meanwhile, second placed Zanaco failed to cut leaders Zesco United’s lead from five to two points following a 2-1 home loss to demoted Kitwe United at Sunset Stadium in Lusaka.
League Moses Phiri put Zanaco ahead in the 29 minute with his 16th goal of the season but Rupert Musonda and Edward Lungu hit back for demoted and last placed Kitwe United in the 49th and 72nd minutes respectively.