14 March 2019 10:56
Zesco United battle to end their campaign with honour on Sunday when they host Ghana’s Asante Kotoko in their final Group C match at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
The 2017 CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinalists are bottom of Group C on 4 points from five games after losing 3-0 away to their Zambian compatriots and leaders on 9 points, Nkana, on March 10 to extinguish their last eight dreams with a match to spare. Kotoko are third on 7 points.
Zesco also head into the last match on the back of two successive Group C defeats following a 3-1 away loss to second placed Hilal of Sudan on March 3, who have 8 points, before that humbling away loss at Nkana.
“Even the last game is also important it’s not that we will go on the pitch to play. We have to protect the image of the country. I know it will not be an easy game at that stage. I am sure it will be very critical for the teams which have remained, us we are gone but we will move on from whatever we have gotten and am sure will be strong then,” Zesco coach George Lwandamina said.
But the picture is even bigger for Zesco who will head into the match against Kotoko without a competitive victory in their last seven games.
Zesco's last win was a 2-0 league match at home over Nakambala Leopards way back on February 6 in Ndola.
Since then, Zesco have collected three draws and four defeats.
Furthermore, Zesco face Kotoko on the back of three successive competitive defeats with the last coming on March 13 in an away domestic fixture at nine-time Zambian champions Mufulira Wanderers who won 2-1 to hand them their first league loss of the 2019 season.
"It is just a phase that we are passing through. It is not that we are not playing OK but we have just found ourselves in a situation where we are not able to defend well and we are not able to score," Lwandamina said.
"We have also played too much football including the travelling that has left us with two days between games; that could also be a factor.
"Training time hasn't been there, so the only thing that is helping is the team recovery and that could be a major contributing factor because there is no character in them, they seem to be tired."
Nkana travels to Omdurman as guest of Hilal in the other Group C clash also on Sunday.