MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
DEBUTANTS in the 2019 Confederations Cup Green Eagles inched step closer into winning Stream B after their one nil win over Circuit City in Lusaka.
Green Eagles winger Spencer Sautu was the hero of the day for the Choma-based side with a lone goal scored in the second half to give his side some glimmer of hope of returning to playing continental football.
The win maintained Eagles’ lead on top of the stream with 32 points.
They only need a win in their next fixture to seal a win in the group.
The top slot is, however, not guaranteed as the Eagles have to also bank on second placed Buildcon failing to pick maximum points in their next game.
The Ndola-based Buildcon will have to thank defender Isaac Shamujompa for giving them victory in the dying minutes of the Ndola derby when he scored from free kick against Forest Rangers in an early kick-off match at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
They moved to 29 points in second position and will be hoping to beat Nkana FC at home and Power Dynamos (away) to be assured of continental football for the first time in their history.
Meanwhile, pressure has continued to mount on 12 time league champions Nkana who have continued recording draws.
They walked off the pitch with their fourth draw in a row in Saturday’s one all home draw against Nkwazi.
Shadrach Malambo gave the home side the lead in the 24th minutes, but the lead was cancelled in second half through Mathews Nkhowani who equalised for visiting Nkwazi.
Nkwazi FC remain in third position with 27 points and they, too, will have to bank on beating Circuit City at home and Lumwana Radiants away, at the same time hoping Buildcon fails to record maximum points in their last two matches to have any chance of qualifying for a continental slot.
In the other low-profile game of the stream Napsa Stars and Power Dynamos settled for a one all draw at Woodlands Stadium in Lusaka.
Collins Sikombe scored for the home side in the 48th minutes while Luka Chamanga equalised for Power Dynamos in 89th minute.
Both teams have 22 points together with Forest Rangers, but Forest and Napsa have a game in hand each against Nkana FC.
With only two rounds of games to finish up this stream it is now clear to see that only three teams have a chance to finish as the top two.
Green Eagles are the favourites as they only need one win to seal the top slot while Buildcon and Nkwazi FC will be fighting for the second slot with any of those two to drop points, meaning the other will capitalise on the slipup of the other team.
Forest Rangers and Napsa Stars will have to defeat Nkana FC in their respective game in hand and hope they record victories in the other two matches.
Both teams have an outside chance, but will need to produce the will needed to win all their remaining games for them to have that chance of getting second position.
Napsa Stars host Nkana FC this Wednesday for the rescheduled week 11 game and a win will move them into fifth position.