Football

Composite ‘Copala’ derby best eleven

Bola Biz
IN 1984, ‘baby born with teeth’ as Power Dynamos were nicknamed then, wrestled the top-flight title from across town Wusakile rivals Nkana Red Devils then under club legend Moses

Simwala.
Since that time, the intensity of the rivalry has grown like a bush fire in the dry season.
From Saturday’s enthralling 2-1 win that took Daniel Kabwe’s side, with claims of “10 weeks preparation” for the derby, to the top of the table while condemning returning Nkana coach Beston Chambeshi to his first derby loss, I choose a composite best 11 of the Kitwe derby.
Allan Chibwe, who was in goal last Tuesday as a depleted Chipolopolo surprisingly sank South Africa 2-1 in a friendly at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg, gets the nod.
The 26-year-old was only beaten by an 18th minute strike by Shadreck Musonda.
The Chipolopolo international was superb in the air and organised his backline well. Chibwe saved a dangerous Walter Bwalya’s free-kick comfortably.
The fact that his brother Ronald is a Nkana striker added extra spice to the derby. ‘Chibwe scores past Chibwe’ was a writer’s fairy-tale story that never came to pass.
Allan was named the official man-of-the match.
Govenda Simwala, whose dad Moses won eight of the 12 titles for Kalampa, was excellent at right back. He cluttered into Nkana goal-scorer Musonda mercilessly. He bombed forward at pace just like his dad used to do in the 1970s on the same turf. Govenda was involved in the move that culminated in the Power winner.
Diego Apanene was the toughest cookie in a rather shaky defensive display from the home side. At a ground renowned for producing great throw-in takers such as late Kapambwe ‘Gentile’ Mulenga, Apanene was keen for throw-ins and quick in tracking back when often used as the spark for an attack.
Billy Mutale, missed the South Africa match due to unexplained reasons, but was at his usual ‘no-non-sense’ best for Power. He received a yellow card in the second half for a crude challenge. The only thing you fear about Mutale is the clumsiness in giving away free-kicks in dangerous areas and occasional cards. He epitomised excellence in air and great positioning shutting once feared Nkana forward Ronald Kampamba out of the game.
Mutale’s central defence sidekick White Mwanambaba has had a stop-start career appearance-wise since switching from Napsa Stars two seasons ago. Mwanambaba benefitted from the departure of Africa Cup 2012 winner Francis Kasonde to Malaysia to start and did very well.
Nkana captain Donashano Malama gets the holding role. Malama showed vision with his passing range and high work rate. He captained the Chipolopolo in that Bafana beating and came back to a commander’s role for Kalampa. He started the move that led to Musonda’s opener.
Fwayo Tembo was involved in all the three goals. He, inadvertently, set up Musonda with a weak back header for Nkana’s goal. But he made amends with perhaps the pass of the season with a net mug for Martin Phiri to pounce and slot past Kelvin Malunga. He was also in the thick of things for the winner. At 28, the former Europe-based player is no longer a man associated with a blotted black book of weight and discipline issues and it is showing.
Godfrey Ngwenya came onto the scene as a 16-year-old four years ago during the national wide talent identification search by Herve Renard. The former Kabwe Warriors midfielder, in his debut season at Power, played like a master of the derby dictating the tempo in midfield with timely interventions and deft touches.
Brace hero Phiri was a real class act. His 42nd minute equaliser was well placed after out-pacing a posse of Nkana defenders to calmly plant the ball beyond Malunga. The second under a minute from the start of the second stanza was a gem in off the underside of the upright. He was replaced by Jimmy Ndhlovu.
Walter Bwalya gets in because of the nerve to play despite a storm brewing over his heritage. Documents emerged on social media on the derby day showing the former Forest Rangers striker purportedly using the name Heritier Binene Sabwa while playing in the land of his birth Democratic Republic of Congo. He didn’t score but was denied off a free-kick by Chibwe. The man who claims to have a Zambian father and Congolese mother set up Jacob Ngulube off the chest but the former Mufulira Wanderers midfielder cracked the crossbar.
The final spot goes to Nkana scorer Shadreck. The speedy winger reminds me of the stories of ‘Chairman’ Moses Simwala who was said to be ‘as fast as lightning’ for Kalampa. Shadreck is a hard worker and can ride a tackle. His goal was a beauty, too. Off Tembo’s head unto his chest; half-volley, bang! Back of the net!


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