…as Zanaco, Zesco square off in season opener
By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
ZANACO will seek revenge against Zesco United for their embarrassing ABSA Cup final defeat on June 22, when the two sides clash in the Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu Charity Shield at Woodlands Stadium today.
The bankers were demolished 4-1 in the ABSA Cup final at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium as Zesco claimed their sixth title.
With the 2019/2020 FAZ-MTN Super Division scheduled for kick-off on August 31, both teams will look to make a statement in the traditional new season curtain raiser to be watched by President Edgar Lungu. Zanaco come into the game with a beefed up squad having signed seven players during the transfer window.
The return of Ziyo Tembo from Saudi Arabia is expected to strengthen the backline. Former Nkwazi left-back Kebson Kamanga is also another option for coach Mumamba Numba.
He will look to Chitiya Mususu and ex-Kabwe Warriors hitman Ghanaian Emmanuel Okutu to deliver the much required goals.
But Zanaco’s quest for revenge may backfire as George “Chicken” Lwandamina has assembled a squad which looks to be enjoying fine form.
League champions Zesco must be in confident mode having humbled Black Mamba’s of eSwatini 2-0 in last Saturday’s CAF Champions League preliminary round first leg away encounter. Zanaco’s rear-guard will have to be wary of Ugandan striker Umaru who scored on his debut appearance in eSwatini. The bankers also have to work hard to stop John Ching’andu and Kenyan Jesse Were from finding the back of the net.
“We will give our best so we can entertain people, they pay to watch. People will want to know what is in store for the 2019/2020 season and we will show them,” said Lwandamina.
Zesco missed out on the 2019 Shield after they lost 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in regulation time to Nkana.
Zanaco assistant coach Dabid Chilufya said the bankers will put in their best to open the season on a winning note.
This year’s final will kick-off with a lunch-time curtain raiser between Division One sides National Assembly and Young Green Eagles.
The Samuel “Zoom” Ndhlovu Charity Shield is an annual tournament which the Football Association of Zambia uses to raise money for the vulnerable.