By MICHAEL MIYOBA
STRIKER Moses Phiri rescued Zanaco from suffering a home loss after scoring a crucial goal in the 1-1 stalemate against Green Eagles in a Week -22 MTN/FAZ Super League fixture at Sunset Stadium in Lusaka.
Phiri cancelled out Emmanuel Mwaba’s opener as the Bankers picked their fourth consecutive stalemate in the league.
Despite having dictated play from the first whistle, Zanaco created few scoring opportunities while Eagle’s first chance to find the back of the net came ten minutes after kick off through former Zanaco winger Ernest Mbewe who was unlucky to see his effort being saved by goal keeper Charles Lawu.
Eagles came close to going ahead five minutes before the half hour mark through striker Derrick Bulaya who was denied by Lawu.
Bulaya came close to breaking the deadlock six minutes before the break but Lawu produced another decent save to prevent Zanaco from conceding as the first half ended goalless.
Eagles punished Zanaco with a goal in the first minute of the second stanza through Mwaba who beat Lawu with a sublime shot from inside the 18-yard box after Zanaco defenders failed to clear the ball in the danger zone.
It didn’t take the home team long to get the equaliser through Phiri who slotted home from close range after benefitting from Eagles failure to clear a free kick in the 57th minute.
The Bankers could have gone ahead two minutes before the hour mark through Abraham Siankombo who’s sublime shot on goal was parried away for a conner.
Zanaco coach Kelvin Kaindu made some changes and introduced 2012 Afcon winner Chisamba Lungu for Moussa Souleyamnou a few minutes after the hour mark.
It didn’t take long for the midfielder to make an impact and almost scored from a long range strike which was dealt with by Eagles goal keeper Kenneth Mwanga.
Midfielder Amit Shamenda almost snatched the winner in the 74th minute but saw his shot being saved by Lawu.
Zanaco had scored their second in the 79th minute through the new signing Emmanuel Mwinde whose goal was disallowed after he was deemed to have been offside as the two sides settled for a draw.
The result meant that Zanaco have dropped eight points from four games, an outcome which is worrying for Kaindu.
“Not a good result for us. A point, we thought we had scored the match winner which was disallowed and yet again we have dropped points, we are not moving, I think we need to step up, we came from a goal down and scored a good goal but the problem is that we are not moving,” Kaindu said.
He said the coming in of Mwinde has given Zanaco a bit of depth noting that the team was relying too much on Moses Phiri as a striker.
Kaindu hinted the Bankers will soon have depth with new players expected to join the team before the transfer window comes to a close.
Meanwhile, Eagles coach Aggrey Chiyangi said he was content with a point away from home against tough opponents.
Chiyangi said missing out on second position on the Super League table after the draw which pushed them to 33 points would inspire Eagles to fight hard in the next fixtures of the competition.