By BENEDICT TEMBO
NKWAZI stand –in coach Dennis Makinka was full of praises for his employers and the club’s executive as the team moved out of the relegation zone for the first time this season following a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Nchanga Rangers in an MTN round 27 encounter at Edwin Imboela Stadium.
Nkwazi, who have now moved to 31 points – at par with Rangers but with a superior goal difference, fell behind to Ciel Ebengo’s 10th minute goal.
Despite going a goal down, Nkwazi fought gamely and equalised in the 70th minute through a Justin Shonga strike after being put through by Christopher Zulu.
Zulu, creator of the equaliser turned scorer in the 72nd courtesy of an Elias Kazangarare pass.
In a post-match interview, Makinka, standing in for coach Osward Mutapa who is with the Under-23 national team in Cairo, paid glowing tribute to Inspector General of Police Lemmy Kajoba for motivating the team.
Makinka said the IG has demonstrated personal commitment towards the welfare of the team and is concerned at its poor performance.
Mutapa and Makinka were installed by the IG two months ago and have been in charge for 10 games, winning four, drawing two and have lost four times.
The Nkwazi Theatre Group was on hand to provide moral support to the football team by cheering before, during and after the match.
Nkwazi, who are now fifth from the bottom, have supplanted Rangers.
In Ndola, Zesco United continued showing progress under George Lwandamina by leaving it late to beat Kabwe Warriors 1-0 at a rain-drenched Railway Ground in Ndola.
Moise Lola was the goal scorer for Zesco who are now 10th on the log with 37 points while Warriors remain 13th with 31 points.
And on a weekend headlined by draws, Napsa were the biggest winners following their 5-0 victory over bottom of the table Buildcon.
Nkana, the 13-time league champions painted Lusaka red after defeating Red Arrows 1-0 , thanks to a Jacob Ngulube’s 69th minute header.
Elsewhere, Kansanshi Dynamos beat FC MUZA 0-1 in Mazabuka while in Solwezi Lumwana Radiants nudged Cgambishi 1-0.
Green Eagles were held to a goalless draw by Green Buffaloes in Choma so were log leaders Power Dynamos stretched to a barren draw by Zanaco.
Prison Leopards and Forest Rangers played out to another nil-nil draw at President’s Stadium in Kabwe.