FAZ Congratulates CAF envoys

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The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has expressed delight at the first leg home victories recorded by Nkana and Zesco United in the CAF Confederations Cup over the weekend.

Nkana thumped Ivorian side San Pedro 3-0 while Zesco United overcame Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 on Saturday and Sunday respectively, and the country’s FA is confident that the two clubs will finish the job in the second leg and sail through to the group stage of the competition.

The Copperbelt-based supper clubs are seeking redemption in the lesser of the two continental club competitions after dropping out of the CAF Champions League.

On Saturday, Nkana made light work of San Pedro of ivory Coast at Nkana stadium courtesy of three unanswered goals from Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba, Joseph Musonda and substitute Festus Mbewe.

In truth, San Pedro would have been on the receiving end of a more embarrassing scoreline but for the profligacy of Nkana skipper Walter Bwalya who was later hauled off for Mbewe.

Coach Beston Chambeshi still sees the 3-0 scoreline as a huge advantage going into the return match on the January 20.

Zesco United have a much trickier return fixture to contend with after they conceded what may turn out to be a precious away goal for Kaizer Chiefs in a thrilling end-to-end encounter at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

Lazarus Kambole and Jese Were gave George Lwandamina’s side a commanding lead but some suspect defending gave Chiefs a route back into the game through Khama Billiat three minutes before halftime, only for Were to complete his brace and restore the two-goal advantage early in the second half.

Both sides squandered plenty of gilt-edged chances but Chiefs walked away feeling hard done by after they had a 68th minute goal inexplicably ruled out for offside.

The two sides meet in the final leg on January 20 in a 20:00 hours kickoff at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg with Zesco needing just a draw while Chiefs must win 2-0 to deny the former a place in the group stage that begins on February 1.

In a statement today, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga says the victory by the two sides is a firm indicator of the state of the Zambian league, that is one of the best on the continent.

The FAZ boss has encouraged the two teams to remain focused ahead of the second leg fixtures set for this weekend and keep the Zambian flag flying higher.

Kamanga says that given the margins posted in the first legs, the Zambian teams could finish off the job with better planning and focus.

“A big congratulations to our representatives in CAF competitions. We have no doubt that you will finish off the job in the second leg and make us even prouder,” Kamanga said.

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