Sunday Jun 13, 2021. 18:51
Zesco United are the new FAZ Super League champions following Sunday’s 2-0 home win over Napsa Stars at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
The Ndola club is now tied on nine titles with Mufulira Wanderers as the second most successful Zambian club but are four behind their predecessors Nkana.
Out-going champions Nkana had no interest in this season’s title race and are currently embroiled in a relegation battle at the opposite end of the table.
Zesco attained an assailable 64 points with three games to spare and have eleven points more than second placed Zanaco who also have three fixtures left to play.
Meanwhile, Napsa flew out of the blocks against a Zesco side that cautiously soaked up the pressure in the opening 17 minutes of the first half.
But the chemistry just wasn’t there between Napsa’s striking pair of Tapson Kaseba and Jimmy Mukeya who were starting together for the first time this season after the former spent most of this term in the sick bay.
As the twenty minute mark approached, Zesco decided they had seen enough and pushed forward with Zimbabwean midfielder Thabani Kamusoko seeing his 19th minute shot from range take a deflection before it hit the beam.
That effort also signaled the end of Napsa goalkeeper Shaaban Odhoji holiday and on 26th minute denied Winston Kalengo from range.
Four minutes later, Odhoji again shut-out Kalengo with another fine stop at the near post.
Kalengo then turned provider in the 41st minute for the first goal with a powerful diagonal pass for Jesse Were who crashed in the ball on the far post to see Zesco take a deserved halftime lead.
Zesco midfielder Kelvin Mubanga, who had opted out of the Chipolopolo June friendly tour on personal grounds, then stole the spotlight in the final 45 minutes and constantly teased Odhoji from range with at least three shots.
Mubanga made no mistake in the 81st minute with probably his weakest of the long-range shots to confirm Zesco’s status as the new Zambian kings.
He has now won back-to-back league titles after lifting the trophy with Nkana last term before moving to Zesco in the pre-season as a free agent.