MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
ZAMBIA’s envoys in the CAF Confederations Cup, Nkana and Zesco United, have found themselves in a precarious situation which entails that one has to qualify at the expense of the other as they face each other in a make or break match at Nkana’s Scrivener Stadium.
Recent statistics in the Confederations Cup appear to favors Nkana who have only lost one game in the last three games played while Zesco has not recorded a single win in the last three games.
But going by head to head, Zesco united have an edge over Nkana who they have never lost to at Nkana stadium dating back to more than a decade ago.
Nkana sits above Zesco in group C of the Confederations Cup after winning two and losing two of the four games played, Zesco only won one game, drew one and lost two games.
Both teams, Nkana FC and Zesco United, will strive to win their next game because it will determine their destinies.
A Loss for Nkana FC will still mean that they can qualify to the quarter finals but it means they will have to win their game in Sudan and hope that Asante Kotoko doesn’t beats Al Hlial.
A win by Asante Kotoko will better Nkana’s chances overally chances on head to head even if the Ghanaian Giants lose to Zesco United in their last match.
A loss for Zesco United will mean that they will have to hope that Al Hilal doesnt lose in Ghana because a Kotoko win will mean that Zesco United are out of the competition as they will only be able to get to 7 points and Al Hilal have a better head to head.
Overally, if either Nkana or Zesco United lose this match they’ve will have to hope for a draw in the other game which involves Asente Kotoko vs Al Hilal to stand a better chance of going through.
A draw for Nkana will mean that if the Kotoko beat Al Hilal then Nkana FC will have to get at least a win in Sudan to avoid a head to head with Zesco United in the last match if the Ndola based side beat Asente Kotoko which will see Nkana getting knocked out.
If Nkana draw then they will have to beat Al Hilal in Sudan and whatever happens Nkana will qualify.
A draw for Zesco United will knock them out if Kotoko beat Al Hilal which will mean that even if Zesco beat Kotoko in the last match any result between Nkana and Al Hilal will knock Zesco out.
A draw will only help Zesco if the Kotoko vs Al Hilal match also ends in a draw which will mean that a win for Zesco, against Kotoko, will send them through but only if Al Hilal beats Nkana in Sudan.
At the end of the day a draw for Zesco will put them in a tricky situation.
A win for either Nkana or Zesco United will puts them in a good position to qualify despite the result in the Kotoko VS Al Hilal match.
Zesco United last won a match on February 6 when they beat Nakambala Leopards 2-0 in a rescheduled match at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium but since then the club has had to endure poor results with 3 draws and 2 losses.
The last time the club played more than 5 games without recording a win was in 2017, under Serbian Coach Zlatko Krmpotic. The team was eliminated from the CAF Confederation Cup Quarter Finals and failing to win in 6 matches but drew 2-2 with Supersport United.
Zesco will be hoping to shrug off their recent form by ending their winless streak while Nkana will be hoping to tighten the defense which has seen them concede in all their Confederations Cup games.