Sun, 04 Dec 2016 11:52:25 +0000
By Bennie Mundando
ZANACO football club yesterday lifted the MTN/FAZ league title in grand fashion after beating 1-0 Mufulira Blackpool in a week 34 match played at the Shinde stadium in Mufulira.
Zanaco’s real chance came as early as the sixth minute when Nkwame Attram received the ball in the box, turned David Sichilima inside out but shot tamely at Toaster Nsabata who saved without any problem.
Aubrey Funga came close to stealing the limelight after 10 minutes when Rodrick Kabwe lofted the ball into the area but Funga shot tamely and off target. Funga again came blazing for a goal a minute later after getting better of Sichilima but his final pass was cleared off by Blackpool defenders.
Blackpool then improved and upped their game, giving little room for Zanaco to maneuver as Justin Zulu’s absence was clearly felt as Rodrick Kabwe and Isaac Chansa’s efforts went begging as the team looked disjointed upfront.
The hosts would have found the back of the net through Patrick Kongolo with 27 minutes played when he launched an attack on the left wing and ran onto the 18 yard box but slipped off before the final touch giving time for Ziyo Tembo to clear the danger to safety.
Joseph Chewe then found some space on the right wing and cut in a neat low pass to Kongolo who missed a clever back heel which was well-read by Nsabata who swept it with his leg for a corner and the resultant corner-kick went begging.
Augustin Mulenga found the back of the net with 42 minutes after the ball was lofted into the area and fell to his feet before he rounded off Sichilima and coolly slotting the ball on the far right corner
The second half was an all-Zanaco affair as George Chilufya almost doubled the advantage with a cracker from outside the box but saw his effort rattling the upright before Blackpool cleared the danger with 66 minutes played as the bankers went for the killer. Kabwe came close to scoring a brace after a smart touch within the area but his shot went straight at the goalkeeper but with box-to-box movements, Blackpool would have leveled the score line when Andrew Tampwila released a cracker a meter from the centre line but Nsabata parried it to safety for a corner.
Five minutes to full-time, Kongolo burst clear on the right but spooned the ball over the bar with only Nsabata and the yawning goal in front of him
Mulenga would have grabbed a brace deep in added time but ballooned the ball over the bar after a neat exchange of passes.