Saturday Oct 30, 2021. 19:00
Nkana ended new boys Kafue Celtics’ five-match unbeaten run on Saturday following a 1-0 away win at Edwin Emboela Stadium in Lusaka.
Celtic came into the match with reputable 1-0 and 2-0 home victories over Buildcon and Zesco United respectively plus a 0-0 away draw at Power Dynamos.
But the record 13-time Zambian champions refused to be a statistic for Joel Bwalya’s side in what was a hard-fought-for win that Nkana credited to their goalkeeper Kelvin Malunga who had another great show between the sticks.
The game’s only goal came in the 31st minute through Ronald Kampamba who headed in a cross from Laison Thole cross in what was his first start this season with Nkana.
Celtic then pushed hard for the equalizer but found Malunga in inspired form after denying Peter Chikola twice in the 19th and 57th minute.
Malunga, who has just received a Chipolopolo call-up for November’s 2022 Qatar qualifiers, then made a courageous 73rd minute save when he gathered the ball from the feet of the charging Celtic forward Albert Kangwanda inside the box.
The result handed Celtic coach Joel Bwlya his first loss since September 22 when Indeni beat them 2-1 at the same venue.
Celtic drop from fifth to sixth on 12 points while Nkana are fourth on 13 points, eight points behind leaders Green Buffaloes who lead in 21 points after nine games played.
Leaders and still unbeaten Buffaloes drew 0-0 at home with Kansanshi Dynamos a week after finishing 1-1 away to a ten-man Zesco United in Ndola.
Zesco are third on 14 points after rallying from one-down away to Konkola Blades in Chililabombwe to third placed Zesco United to draw 1-1 with the promoted side who have 11 points.
Chacha Saya put Blades ahead in the 49th minute but the lead lasted just three minutes when John Chingandu leveled for the defending FAZ Super League champions.
Meanwhile, Nkwazi continued their quiet rise in second place after beating Lusaka Dynamos 3-0 to extend their unbeaten run to seven straight games since losing 1-0 at home to Green Eagles in a Week Two Game on September 18.
Stephen Mutama put Nkwazi ahead in the 51st minute while Langson Mbewe added a brace in the 85th and 89th minutes.
Nkwazi have 15 points, six behind leaders Buffaloes.