Sport

Zanaco, Power to Decide Zambian League Champions on the Last Day

There is no margin for error for Power Dynamos and Zanaco who are separated by the smallest of margins going into today’s season-closing Super Division fixtures.

Power have a one-point advantage over Zanaco and only need victory against Red Arrows to retain the title in this year’s race which is in a virtual dead heat.

Zanaco, on the other hand, must beat Nkana in Kitwe and hope that Arrows do them a favour at Sunset Stadium in Lusaka.

But a draw for defending champions could see yet another twist in the tale of this season’s intriguing title chase if second-placed Zanaco beat Nkana in Kitwe.

This permutation would see the title going to Zanaco, who led the table for most of the second half of the season until last week.

Zanaco were overthrown from the summit last Sunday after they drew 2-2 with Roan United at Sunset Stadium in Lusaka.

Power have 59 points, one better than Zanaco.

Power are chasing for their seventh title while Zanaco are eyeing their sixth.
Nkana have a record 11 Super Division titles, two better than ‘Mighty” Mufulira Wanderers.

For Zanaco, the 2-2 draw with Roan United last Saturday was their undoing and assistant coach Aggrey Chiyangi is confident that the bankers could still finish top.

In the relegation fight, Roan United and Green Eagles need to win their respective matches to remain afloat.

Roan host already relegated Nakambala Leopards at Kafubu Stadium in Luanshya while Eagles welcome Nchanga Rangers at Choma’s Independence Stadium.

Roan are fifth from the bottom with 32 points, one better than Eagles.

ARROWS vs POWER

This match will be played at a ‘neutral’ venue – Sunset Stadium – because Arrows’ homeground is undergoing rehabilitation for next month’s Supreme Council for Sports in Africa Zone Six Games.

Power coach Bestone Chambeshi anticipates a tough match but says his side is ready for it.

“It is a big game for us and our aim is to win so that we retain the title. We know it will be a tough game because Arrows is a big team,” Chambeshi said in an interview yesterday.

The team is injury-free.

Chambeshi will rely on skipper Joseph Sitali, playmaker Mukuka Mulenga, diminutive Simon Bwalya, dribbler Kennedy Mudenda and workaholic Emmanuel Chimpinde to beat Arrows and book a ticket for the 2013 Champions League.

Bwalya and Chimpinde contributed a goal each in last Sunday’s 2-1 win over Napsa Stars and could be key to determining today’s match.

Power beat Arrows 1-0 in the first meeting in Kitwe.

Arrows, lying fourth on the table, will not want to end the season with defeat and coach George Lwandamina is expected to unleash a formidable team to give Power a good run for their money.

“We will give them [Power] a good game befitting the quality of our league this season. They have to win the title by working hard. In the past, teams used to win the title with ten games remaining but now it is a photo finish. This shows that our league has improved,” Lwandamina said.

NKANA vs ZANACO

Zanaco will keep their fingers crossed that Arrows stun Power and they overcome Nkana at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.

“We will fight for the Super Division title until the last day because anything can happen in football,” Chiyangi said.

Moses Phiri, Lewis Macha, Henry Banda and Elson Mkandawire will strive to get the much-needed win for the Keagan Mumba-drilled Zanaco.

But Zeddy Saileti’s Nkana Nkana, 10th on the log with 35 points and not in danger of sinking, have Reynold Kampamba and Evans Kangwa to close the title door on Zanaco.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

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