Football Sport

Can Zanaco bank group stage?

Zanaco get a vital away goal in 1-all draw in Dar es Salaam and the bankers. PICTURE: Sensational Zanaco FC

VICTOR KUMWENDA, Lusaka
ZANACO will today become the second Zambian club to qualify for the CAF Champions League group stage if they beat Tanzanian side Young Africans.
The teams drew 1-1 in Dar es Salaam last Saturday and a goalless draw in the return leg at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka will see Zanaco progressing to the group stage.
Zesco United featured in the Champions League group stage in 2009 and 2016 and reached the semi-finals last year.
Zanaco reached the Confederation Cup group stage in 2010.
On the other hand, Yanga need victory or a 2-2 draw to secure qualification to the next round.
“We should avoid what happened in Tanzania. We created a lot of chances but only scored one goal but that does not mean changing our plan. I know it is tough but we definitely go on the offensive because we need goals,” Zanaco coach Mumamba Numba said.
Zanaco have a good record against Tanzanian sides.
The Bankers beat Simba Sporting Club, then tutored by Patrick Phiri, 3-2 on aggregate in the 2004 CAF Champions League first round.
Ghanaian Attram Kwame is a sure starter in attack.
Kwame scored the crucial away goal in Dar es Salaam.
He will partner Saith Sakala in attack.
Midfielder Boyd Musonda, who missed the first leg due to the just-ended Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations, is expected to return to the starting line-up.
Richard Kasonde, Augustine Mulenga and Ernest Mbewe will orchestrate play in midfield, where they will vie with Justin Zulu and Haruna Niyonzima.
Taonga Bwembya, Chongo Chirwa, George Chilufya and skipper Ziyo Tembo will marshal the backline while Toaster Nsabata will be in goal.
Yanga trainer George Lwandamina’s desire is to stun the Bankers.
“I know it will not be an easy game because all games are difficult. We might not have performed to expectation at home [Dar es Salaam] but in football you cannot bank on what happened in the past. The team is very much ready for Zanaco,” Lwandamina said.
But Lwandamina will not have the strongest side due to injuries.
Zimbabwean striker Donald Ngoma, Thabani Kamusoko and Burundi international Amis Tambwe are doubtful after sustaining injuries in the first leg.
Lwandamina will look to Haruna Niyonzima, Juma Mahahdi, Obrey Chirwa and Simon Msuva for goals.

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