Sunday Apr 24, 2022. 19:56
Red Arrows confirmed their 2021/2022 FAZ Super League championship title on Sunday, with a match to spare, following a 4-1 home win over 14th-placed Chambishi at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
Arrows topple Zesco United as Zambian champions, who finish second after the former opened an unassailable seven-point lead on the penultimate day of the season.
This is Arrows’ second-ever Zambian title after winning the 2004 championship in the same year that Zesco were promoted on their way to winning all their nine league titles to date.
Ricky Banda put Arrows ahead in the 39th minute to also see him pull away from the pack on 15 goals, making him the favourite for the 2021/2022 FAZ Golden Boot heading into next weekend’s final league game away at Indeni in Ndola.
Saddam Phiri added the second goal on the stroke of half time, but Chambishi cut the lead in the 51st minute through Francis Kasaka.
However, Fred Tshimenga scored the third in the 58th minute and George Mendu sealed the deal in the 87th minute.
Arrows have 67 points, while outgoing champions Zesco have 60 points after drawing 0-0 away to 13th placed Nkwazi in Lusaka, who have just survived relegation after flirting in the top two during the first half of the campaign.
The Lusaka clubs’ triumph also saw coach Chisi Mbewe win his maiden league title following his promotion from assistant in 2019 when he replaced Honour Janza.
“It has been our prayer as a team that this season we just have to win the league,” Chisi said.
“Well, for us the job is not yet done. Yes, we are confirmed as champions but we still have another league game against Indeni to finish. Our target is to finish on 70 points.”
Arrows also have an opportunity to complete the double on April 30 when they face Napsa Stars in the 2022 ABSA Cup final at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
“We have another important assignment which is the ABSA Cup this Saturday so we don’t have to get carried away because after that, that is when our celebrations will start,” Chisi said.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Green Eagles stayed third on 56 points but lost 3-1 away to ninth-positioned Prison Leopards.
Zanaco replaced Nkana at number four after joining them on 49 points after beating Indeni 1-0 thanks to a 12th minute goal by Moses Phiri.
Indeni are demoted together with Lusaka Dynamos, Kafue Celtic and Konkola Blades to complete the line-up going down to play FAZ National Division One football next term.
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