Saturday May 29, 2021. 19:00
Zanaco bounced back to winning ways on Saturday following a 2-0 away victory over struggling Napsa Stars in a Lusaka derby clash played at Woodlands Stadium that saw them move within five points of leaders Zesco United.
Second placed Zanaco’s win ended their two-match losing run at home after going down 4-0 to fourth placed Buildcon on May 25 and suffering a 2-1 defeat against demoted Kitwe United on May 22 that subsequently cost coach Chris Kaunda’s job.
The result also saw relegation-threatened Napsa sustain their fourth successive league loss.
Meanwhile, the derby failed to explode despite the pressures Napsa and Zanaco came into the match under.
But it was Zanaco who showed more purpose especially in a scoreless first half that saw striker Moses Phiri give Napsa’s defence a torrid time and hit the side-netting midway throughout that period.
The deadlock was broken in the 68th minute when Phiri put Zanaco ahead with a superb strike.
Phiri received a long ball from Zanaco goalkeeper Mangani Banda that he latched on to inside Napsa half and then eluded Simon Nkhata before riding an Amos Simwanza’s tackle then fired in a volley from the edge of the box.
This season’s top scorer took his tally to 17 goals, three more than Green Buffaloes’ Friday Samu.
Zanaco completed their win in stoppage time when Roger Kola forced the ball in from an acute angle on the near right post when he sweetly controlled a cross from the far left delivered by Abraham Siankombo.
The Bankers have 53 points with three games to go but a win for Zesco on Sunday at home against Kitwe United will see the latter restore their eight point lead with four matches left for them to play.
Napsa stay put at number sixteen on 36 points and remain one point behind fellow strugglers Nkana and Indeni above them with four games left.