Zesco, Nkana eye finals
Published On October 18, 2014 » 2239 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Football, Sports
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RECORD three-time Barclays Cup champions Zesco United face 2012 winners Napsa Stars today in a semi-final doubleheader lunchtime kick-off at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
The other semi-final will see out-going Zambian league champions Nkana chasing a debut Barclays Cup final appearance when they face 2011 runners-up Konkola Blades.
Zesco v Napsa (12:45)
Zesco and Napsa are the only former champions still in the hunt for Barclays Cup honours after Power Dynamos were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Napsa are returning to the Barclays Cup for the first time since 2012 when they lifted the trophy in their debut appearance.
They take on a Zesco side coach by George Lwandamina who is hoping to become the first trainer to win the Barclays Cup in back-to-back seasons with two different clubs in its seven year history.
Lwandamina guided his ex-club Red Arrows victory in 2013.
Zesco, who ejected ‘Mighty’ Mufulira Wanderers in the last round winning 2-0, have enjoyed good form against Napsa this season after beating them 1-nil away last May in Lusaka and 2-0 a fortnight ago in Ndola on October 4.
However, Napsa coach Hector Chilombo is determined not see lightning strike for a third time this season.
“This is a big game, it is a semifinal and semi-finals come once in a lifetime. We are playing a big team like Zesco who have beaten us twice in the league this season and this time around we also want to upset tables,” Chilombo said.
Napsa have no injury worries but goalkeeper Scott Ngokane did not make the team and so ex-Zambia Under-20 goalie Philip Banda is expected to make a second successive Barclays Cup appearance.
Napsa beat Division One south side Lusaka Dynamos 1-0 in the quarterfinal to reach the semi finals.
Nkana v Blades (15:00)
Nkana have tumbled three times at the semifinal stage from four outings, something that coach Beston Chambeshi is determined to end today.
The Barclays Cup is priority for Nkana now after relinquishing their MTN/FAZ Super League crown a week ago with three games to spare when Zesco beat them 3-nil on October 11 in Ndola.
“That was a league game when we played against Zesco. This is a different ball game and we have prepared very well for this game against konkola Blades and you know it is cup game where you only get one bite,” Chambeshi said.
However memories are still very fresh for Chambeshi from his last game against his former charges Blades who beat Nkana 1-nil on September 3 in the league.
“It is not revenge it is a different ball game. It is a cup game and we are going to respect them. They have reached the semifinals they are not a bad team, they are a good team,” Chambeshi said.
The good news for Nkana is that the Chipolopolo trio of striker Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba, midfielder Donashano Malama and defender Christopher Munthali are back and in good health from 2015 AFCON qualifying duty.
To reach the last four, Nkana eliminated Power via a 2-0 score while Blades beat Zanaco 1-0.
Winners of this year’s K2 million rich competition will walk away with K250,000 with the runner-up pocketing K150,000 while the coach and player-of-the-year will get K10,000 and K5,000 respectively.

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