Sport

Familiar story

ELIZABETH CHATUVELA, Lusaka

ZANACO 1 NKANA 1
FOR all the bravado Nkana coach Beston Chambeshi exhibited before the match, the reality on the pitch was different. This was another story of Nkana’s season. If Nkana go down, it will not be because they were unable to beat Zanaco yesterday. It will not even be because they lost to Young Green Eagles on Saturday. Their fate, whatever it is, must have been sealed somewhere at the start of the season. While Nkana never seemed likely to

NKANA players.

retain their league title, no one thought they could be relegation fodder. But as the standings do not lie, this is what they have been throughout the season. The entire Nkana structure did not look sufficiently equipped to meet the demands of the season. While the buck has to stop at someone, it cannot certainly be at Manfred Chabinga. Nor Kelvin Kaindu. Nor Kaunda Simonda. Nor Beston Chambeshi. But if Chambeshi manages to keep them in the top flight, they will probably owe him a lifetime contract. They will also owe Alex Ng’onga a great deal of gratitude. Ng’onga’s equaliser yesterday against Zanaco came rather too little too late. But at least it earned the deposed champions a point. And a lifeline. While they remain in the relegation zone because of their inferior goal difference to Indeni, the goal and point might yet prove invaluable in the end. But whichever way you look at it, Nkana have provided an invaluable lesson for other teams on how not to mount a league title defence. They were again on the way to losing after Cameroonian striker Baba Basile, who had come on two minutes earlier for Abraham Siankombo, put Zanaco ahead on 88 minutes. Had they held on, Zanaco would have sealed second place and Champions League. But after allowing a draw, they will need a point from their two games to do so. “It’s very difficult to play a team that is fighting relegation,” Zanaco assistant coach Henry Banda said. Chambeshi was happy to get something from the game. “We wanted the three points, but a point is still fine for us,” he said. BUILDCON 1 NKWAZI 2 Buildcon blew the chance to move joint-third after Nkwazi overcame them to secure their Super Division status CLICK TO READ MORE




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