Football Sport

Zanaco, Rwanda Patriotic Army in barren first leg draw

ROBINSON KUNDA, Nkoloma Stadium, Lusaka
ZANACO 0 APR 0
ZANACO yesterday started the 2017 CAF Champions League campaign on an unconvincing note when they battled to a goalless draw with Rwanda Patriotic Army (APR), putting their stay in the lucrative competition on the edge.
The Bankers need to up their game on Saturday when they face APR in the preliminary round return leg in Kigali.
A 1-0 win or a 1-1 draw will be enough for Zanaco to progress to the first round.
Having lost seven players, among them veteran midfielder Isaac Chansa and striker Aubrey Funga during the off-season transfer, Zanaco struggled to stamp authority and coach Mumamba Numba has a lot of work to do ahead of the return leg.
“We accounted for ourselves well, we were tactically disciplined but we did not attack. We still have a chance of winning in the return leg,” Numba said.
Zanaco striker Fashion Sakala broke through in the 17th minute and fed the ball to Augustine Mulenga, who headed wide.
Zimbabwean referee Nomore Musundire cautioned APR skipper Michael Gigs and his counterpart at Zanaco Ziyo Tembo for hacking Boyd Musonda and Djohad Bizimana respectively.
With Zanaco firing blanks at goal, APR grew in confidence and striker Janvier Benedata shot wide after he was put through by Yannick Mukunzi in the 25th minute.
In the 38th minute, Fashion, who was a menace to the APR defenders, won a free kick on the edge of the box but defender George Chilufya fired wide.
Zanaco midfielder Saith Sakala’s header from a Musonda cross missed the target by some inches in the 40th minute.
The Bankers were lucky not to concede on 42 minutes when defender Taonga Bwembya cleared on the line Issa Bigimana’s shot with goalkeeper Racha Kola beaten.
On resumption, Numba withdrew ineffective striker Kennedy Musonda for Ernest Mbewe.
Musonda joined Zanaco from Lusaka Dynamos last December.
Zanaco midfielder Richard Kasonde headed over the cross-bar with goalkeeper Emery Yekure to beat in the 66th minute.
APR coach Jimmy Mulisa introduced Maxime Sekamana for Janvier Benedata on 72 minutes.
Fashion saw his goal-bound shot blocked by Herve Rugwiro in the 75th minute much to the frustration of the approximately 4,000 fans, among Minister of Local Government Vincent Mwale.
With goals nowhere near, Numba introduced Ghanaian forward Attram Kwame for Musonda, an under-20 national team star.
Mulisa withdrew Petr Sibomana for Fiston Nkizingabo in the 82nd minute.
“I am happy with an away draw. They [Zanaco] had vowed to beat us. We wanted to show that we are also champions,” Mulisa said.

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