Namungo FC 0-1 Nkana FC: Chikwekwe hands Zambian champions critical victory
The Tanzanian side, now with three consecutive losses, will remain at the bottom of the group as the Red Devils pick up their first three points
Hard-fighting Nkana FC picked up a 1-0 Caf Confederation Group D win over Namungo FC on Sunday at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.
Diamond Chikwekwe scored the only goal in the game that condemned winless Namungo to yet another loss.
Hamisi Khalifa of Namungo was yellow-carded in the seventh minute as both teams were far from settling in a game that was more physical in the opening minutes.
The Tanzanian side had to make a change in the 37th minute when Hamisi Swalehe was replaced by Fred Tangalo. The game, which did not kick-off at the scheduled time, reached the half-time break with the scoreline reading 0-0.
Emmanuel Mwiinde came close to breaking the deadlock in the 50th minute but his move towards goal was cut short by a raised offside flag. A freekick for the Red Devils a minute later did not result in anything meaningful as the ball went out while the two teams continued to struggle to settle in the game.
Another close chance for Nkana came in the 55th minute when Ackim Mumba did well to beat Miza Abdallah down the right-wing but Mwiinde sent his effort over the bar from close range after collecting the cross.
Mumba moved swiftly down the wing in the 57th minute, again beating two Namungo defenders but Obed Masumbuko’s shot, after connecting with a low cross from the winger, went wide of goalkeeper Johnathan Nahimana’s left post.
Frank Magingi was yellow-carded in the 58th minute for a rough challenge on Obed Masubuko.
Namungo looked desperate to contain a determined Nkana side despite enjoying support from the home crowd after Caf had allowed the home side to allow up to 10,000 fans to attend the game.
Stephen Chulu was yellow-carded in the 62nd minute after his raised feet hit Nahimana as both went for the ball from a free-kick Nkana had won from outside the area.
Chikwekwe would blame himself when he failed to beat Nahimana from inside the box while being unmarked. He sent his effort wide after receiving a clinical pass from Harrison Chisala.
Namungo coach Hemed Morocco made two changes in the 63rd minute when he replaced Lucas Kikoti with Erick Kwizera, while Jafari Mohamed came on for Miza Abdallah.
Chikwekwe found the opener in the 69th minute when he slotted past an outstretched Nahimana. Gilroy Chimwemwe spotted the scorer in an advanced position, who gave Nkana a deserved lead.
Chikwekwe was replaced by Ronald Kampamba in the 71st minute, just two minutes after breaking the deadlock.
Namungo won an 81st-minute free-kick and Stephen Sey decided to go for goal but the challenge was dealt with by Nkana goalkeeper Talbert Shumba.
The Tanzanian side launched an ambitious forward move from the midfield but Steve Nzigamasabo saw his strike fly over the bar from outside the box in the 87th minute.
Three added minutes were not enough for Namungo to find an equaliser.
The game started one hour late after Covid-19 tests generated push and pull from both sides. Nkana’s Moses Mapulanga, Joseph Musonda, Pride Chindalo Daniel Jere and Justin Mwanza’s results were not known by the time the game started.
Namungo FC XI: Johnathan Nahimana, Haruna Shamte, Stephen Duah, Frank Magingi, Jafari Mohamed, Lucas Kikoti, Hamisi Swalehe, Sixtus Sabilo, Shiza Kichuya, Steve Nzigamasabo, Stephen Sey.
Nkana FC XI: Talbert Shumba, Gilroy Chimwemwe, Liaison Thole, Richard Ocran, Jimmy Dzingai, Misheck Chaila, Stephen Chulu, Harrison Chisala, Obed Masumbuko, Diamond Chikwekwe, Ackim Mumba, Emmanuel Mwiinde.