Sunday Oct 17, 2021. 11:00
Zanaco have been handed a mountain to climb in their bid to qualify to the 2021/2022 CAF Champions League group stage following a 3-0 away loss on Saturday evening to Al Merreikh of Sudan at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.
The pre-group stage, first leg match was played in Egypt because Sudanese stadiums have failed to meet CAF specifications to stage international matches.
All three goals in Cairo came in the second half to see Zanaco ‘s hundred per cent run in the competition come to an end following September’s 2-0 away and 1-0 home win’s in the last round over Akonangui of Equatorial Guinea.
The deadlock was broken in the 49th minute when Tony Edjomariegwe put Al Merreikh ahead.
Ramadan Ajab added the second goal in the 75th minute while substitute Wadgi Awad completed the job in the 79th minute.
Zanaco must now cancel the three-goal deficit without reply in the final leg on October 23 at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka to book a dramatic group stage qualification.
Failure will see the Zambian club relegated to next month’s pre-group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Zanaco are now Zambia’s remaining campaigners in the CAF Champions League following Zesco United’s elimination in last month’s preliminary round when Eswatini club Royal Leopards ejected them on away goals rule following a 2-2 aggregate result.