Saturday Oct 23, 2021. 19:08
Zanaco on Saturday beat Al Merreikh of Sudan 2-1 at home in Lusaka but their 2021/2022 CAF Champions League campaign ended there.
The Zambian club bowed out of this season’s CAF Champions League pre-group stage after a 4-2 aggregate loss following a 3-0 away first leg defeat in Cairo last Saturday.
It was never going to be an easy day for Zanaco who actually rallied from one-down to earn the home win at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Tony Edjomariegwe returned to haunt Zanaco when put Al Merreikh ahead in the 13th minute after also scoring his sides’ 49th minute opener in the first leg on October 16.
But Zanaco leveled seven minutes later through Emmanuel Manda who had replaced Peter Kalota shortly after Al Merreikh had taken the lead to see the sides go 1-1 into halftime.
Last season’s FAZ Super League top scorer Moses Phiri then had an opportunity to open his competitive account for this campaign in the 64th minute but headed his attempt wide.
It took another Zanaco substitute Abraham Siankombo to ensure the hosts made a dignified CAF Champions League exit in the 86th minute when he headed-in Taonga Bwembya’s free kick.
Al Merreikh marched on to the group stage but Zanaco are relegated to the CAF Confederation Cup pre-group stage that commences next month.
The first leg matches will be played in late November and the last legs will follow in early December to decide who advances to next February’s league phase of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Meanwhile, Red Arrows will know their CAF Confederation Cup fate this Sunday away in Angola against Premiero de Agosto in Luanda.
Arrows lead 1-0 from the first leg played on October 16 in Lusaka and a draw in Luanda will be enough for them to advance to next month’s final knockout stage.