Zambia Daily Mail News
CECILIA ZULU, Lusaka AL GHAZALA 0 (0) ZESCO 1 (3)
MIDFIELDER John Ching’andu yesterday came from the bench to guide Zesco United to victory over South Sudanese side Al Ghazala Wau in the CAF Champions League preliminary round return leg at Juba Stadium.
Ching’andu replaced Idris Mbombo in the 77th minute and in added time, the 23-year-old headed in a cross from another substitute Jese Were for Zesco to thump Al Ghazala 3-0 on aggregate and qualify for the first round.
Zesco won 2-0 in Ndola.
Zesco will face either Senegalese side AS Douanes or Horoya of Guinea in the first round. The teams drew goalless in Dakar and clash in Conakry tomorrow.
Zesco coach George Lwandamina started with skipper Jacob Banda in goal, Simon Silwimba, Dauti Musekwa, David Odhiambo and Ben Adama Banh formed the rearguard.
Misheck Chaila and Anthony Akumu Agay were protecting the defence while Mwape Mwelwa and Cletus Chama supplying crosses from the right and left wings respectively.
Jackson Mwanza and Idris Mbombo were in attack.
Needing to score three unanswered goals to eliminate the Zambians, Al Ghazala started the match with a bang forcing two corners within the first 10 minutes but the Zesco backline was resolute.
Banh’s thunderbolt from a free-kick outside the box was parried for a corner by goalkeeper Ajang Mabior Madut in the 13th minute.
Goalkeeper Banda was called to duty in the 24th minute, saving Khalifa Molid Abakar shot and three minutes later, Mbombo fired wide.
Buoyed by the Zambian military personnel on a peacekeeping mission in Juba, Zesco stepped on the pedal and Mbombo beat two defenders but with Madut ahead, the Congolese blasted wide in the 37th minute.
Madut parried Mwelwa’s cracker for a corner in the 41st minute while Mwanza’s shot rammed into the crossbar and the rebound was cleared on the nick of half time.
Two minutes after the break, Mwelwa’s volley missed the target by some inches.
Banda was equal to the task saving Thiab Adim Angok free-kick in the 50th minute.
Lwandamina withdrew Mwelwa for Maybin Mwaba in the 62nd minute and the change added impetus in the Zesco attack.
On the other hand, Al Ghazala coach Elia Joseph, introduced Gabriel Maliet for Angok in the 75th minute.
Mbombo was withdrawn for John Ching’andu in the 77th minute and a minute later Mwanza ballooned wide.
Were replaced Mwanza in the 80th minute and the Kenya international provided a cross for Ching’andu to nod in.
“We didn’t play our usual entertaining football but what is important is to sail to the next round. It was a difficult game,” Lwandamina said.