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ADVANTAGE LOST?: as wasteful NAPSA Stars fail to shine at home

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  • “NAPSA Stars is a good side and our boys are doing very well in our strategies because we were playing away we had to defend not allowing goals in our net was very important. We will try to solve the game at home,”

By MICHAEL MIYOBA and MUKWIMA CHILALA

ZAMBIA’S envoys in the CAF Confederation Cup NAPSA Stars quest to progress to the next round of the continental championship suffered a major setback after recording a goalless stalemate against UD DO Songo in a preliminary first leg fixture at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

The goalless draw made things difficulty for the Mohammed Fathi –tutored Pensioners who will need an outright win or a 1-1 draw when they visit Mozambique to reach the group stages.

The draw came as a shock for Fathi who was expecting a home win at Heroes Stadium for NAPSA to have an advantage going into the second leg.

Fathi however noted that NAPSA still has a plan going into the return leg on January 6 in Mozambique.

“We missed a lot of chances but it’s too late there is nothing we can do. We have to think positive about the next game and if we can score one goal it will be difficulty for them or take it to penalties with a 0-0 score line so we have a plan.

“It’s not a bad performance we missed a lot of chances and if we continue to create chances in Mozambique we can snatch one or two goals so we just have to stay focused,” Fathi said.

The goalless draw was a positive result for DO Songo coach Carlos Manuel who is banking on the return leg in Mozambique.

“NAPSA Stars is a good side and our boys are doing very well in our strategies because we were playing away we had to defend not allowing goals in our net was very important. We will try to solve the game at home,” Manuel said.

Fathi had made some changes to his team that started in their last two games in the domestic league in which top man Emmanuel Mayuka was benched in place for Laudt Mavugo and Timothy Otieno.

The visitors started the match a compact side as NAPSA failed to hit the target in the first minutes of the game.

Striker Otieno easily lost the balls upfront as his partner upfront in Mavugo could not make any impact.

With time ticking and the home side not finding the back of the net, Fathi made a tactical substitution withdrawing Otieno for Danny Silavwe five minutes before half time.

With NAPSA failing to find the back of the net after 59 minutes of play, Fathi introduced 2012 AFCON winner Mayuka who replaced Burundian striker Mavugo while striker Chanda Mushili came in for midfielder Austin Banda.

The home side continued pressing with Silavwe coming close to scoring in the 72 minute but his shot went wide as the game ended 0-0 after the final whistle.

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