By PILATE NGOMA
at Independence Stadium –
Tigers 1 Nchanga 0
NEWCOMERS Lusaka Tigers yesterday made a grand return to the MTN-FAZ Premier Division as they subdued seasoned top-tier campaigners Nchanga Rangers in an eventful game that saw them finish the match with 10 men.
Playing top flight football for the first time in 16 years, Tigers punished a feeble Chingola side to go top of the table with three points, together with three other sides that recorded victories on the opening day of the 2016 soccer season.
Skipper Emmanuel Kabasa scored the all important goal in the 56th minute to send the partisan Matero crowd that trooped to the stadium agog. However, calamity struck moments later when reliable defender Mathews Sichone was given marching orders in the 66th minute after picking up a second yellow card.
With a one-man advantage, Rangers pushed for an equaliser but the newcomers kept their nerve to take all three points and cap a memorable return to top flight football.
Power 2 Napsa 1
At Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe, striker Patson Daka scored the winner to secure a winning start for Power Dynamos, who moved into joint leadership of the MTM-FAZ league table with Tigers.
After enduring verbal abuse for lack of form during the 2015 season, Daka showed determination as his 41st minute strike gave the Kitwe giants a win after Napsa Stars had taken the lead through a Matthews Macha goal.
Larry Bwalya headed Power back into the game after a delightful cross on the left flank by man-of-the-match Kelvin Mubanga before Daka outsprinted the Napsa defence to score the winner at the second attempt after his initial effort was saved.
Nkwazi 1 Nkana 2
There was drama at Edwin Imboela Stadium in Lusaka yesterday where the game started almost an hour late after Nkwazi failed to prove that they had registered their players for the 2016 football season, reports GWEN CHIPASULA.
With records showing just 10 players as having been registered, the game seemed doomed until FAZ allowed them to play despite the anomaly as the new executive at the Zambia Police outfit got a rough baptism to football administration.
When the game got underway, 55 minutes late, Nkana took just seven minutes to get on the scoresheet through Shadreck Musonda but that goal was cancelled out by Nkwazi’s Erick Chomba on 18 minutes before Walter Bwalya settled the contest in the 77th minute.
Blackpool 0 Dynamos 1
Thomas Mbolela came off the bench to claim the first goal of this year’s campaign and inspired Lusaka Dynamos to a brilliant start with a win over Mufulira Blackpool, SAMUEL LUKHANDA writes.
This lunchtime kickoff at Arthur Davies Stadium saw Blackpool fail to take advantage of a bright start in the early exchanges as they got punished by Mbolela’s strike on 77 minutes when the game seemed to be heading for a barren draw.
Dynamos launched a swift counter attack which saw Manasseh Soko split the backline to find Mbolela who rounded the goalkeeper to power home.