By MOSES CHIMFWEMBE –
AFTER witnessing Nkana convincingly beat his team at the weekend, Nchanga Rangers coach, Fighton Simukonda believes the Zambian envoys are now ready for the 2014 CAF Champions League competition.
And Nkana coach, Masautso Mwale said his team’s 2-0 win over Rangers at the weekend was a dress-rehearsal of what fans should expect when the Zambian champions play Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland this Saturday.
Speaking in an interview at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe after the Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu Charity Shield semi-final defeat to Nkana, Simukonda said the 12-time league champions’ dominant display was a clear indication that they were ready to conquer the continent.
Nkana begin their Champions League quest this weekend away to Swallows in the first leg of the preliminary round match before hosting the Swazi side two weeks later at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe.
Nkana beat Rangers to set up a Charity Shield final against Red Arrows, who edged Zesco United 2-1 in the other semi-final, on February 22.
Simukonda, a Nkana legend, said he was convinced going by the weekend display that the 2013 MTN Premier Division League champions should be considered as serious contenders for the African title.
“It was a good game and I am not disappointed to lose this match because Nkana played very well and they deserved to win. Looking at their performance today (Saturday), I think Nkana is ready for the CAF competition,” he said.
Simukonda, however, urged Mwale to seal the defensive loopholes shown by his backline, saying the CAF games were competitive and a team needed to be prepared adequately in all departments.
And Mwale said the victory over Rangers was a dress-rehearsal of what should be expected of his team when they face Swallows in Mbabane.
Mwale said the win was also a positive start ahead of the 2014 soccer season and that Nkana was determined to replicate last year’s performance.