NKANA FACE UPHILL BATTLE

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… as team eyes Confederation Cup slot

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

WITH a record 13th league title and CAF Champions League out of reach, Nkana face arguably the biggest challenge in their quest to qualify for next Confederation Cup when they face Napsa Stars in a Super Division Stream B Week 11 rescheduled match at Woodlands Stadium today.

Over 72 hours after reality dawned on the Wusakile side that a 13th title race was out of contention following a 1-1 draw against Nkwazi, coach Beston Chambeshi is still hopeful Nkana can book a Confederation Cup slot.

The Kitwe giants, who will now remain with three games (possible nine points) should avoid defeat to stay in contention for a continental place.

Nkana have been playing catch-up in the local league with a backlog of matches after their continental cup run.  They appear to have failed to find their rhythm to assert themselves in the league.

Nkana are seventh with 19 points, trailing leaders Green Eagles by 13 points while second-placed Buildcon have 29 points and Nkwazi 27.

Fifth-placed Napsa Stars, with 22 points, are unbeaten in the second half of the season.

Nkana come into today’s game a seemingly frustrated side after recording four consecutive draws.

The depleted Nkana side will be dependent on Kelvin Kampamba and Ronald Kampamba as well as Shadreck Malambo who should be on cloud nine after scoring the only goal for Nkana last Saturday.

The Nkana rearguard also need to be in tip top condition as they face the daunting task of marking current Zambian league top scorer Laudit Mavugo.

The Burundese international striker has scored 10 goals, including a hat trick in a week 15 match as Napsa superseded Forest Rangers 3-2 at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

Nkana should also be wary of creative midfielder Collins Sikombe who has been in fine form for the Lusaka-based club.

On the other hand, Napsa come into the match at the back of a disappointing home draw that saw the pensioners conceding a late Luka Chamanga goal to share the spoils With Kitwe side Power Dynamos.

A win for Napsa will see them dislodge Forest Rangers from fourth position with 25 points.

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