Zesco United and Zanaco could not be separated in their big top three showdown on Sunday in the match of the week at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium that finished 1-1.
This Week 12 fixture pitted defending FAZ Super Division champions Zesco and 2015 runners-up Zanaco in a riveting contest in Ndola.
The first half produced some awesome end-to-end action that saw Zanaco goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata work overtime to deny Zesco a second successive win after George Lwandamina’s side ended their four-match winless drought on May 18 with that 2-0 away win over Nchanga Rangers.
Zesco had their tails up from the opening whistle against a still unbeaten Zanaco and could have taken the lead in the 2nd minute through Mwape Mwelwa after he had beaten defender George Chilfuya and Nsabata.
However, Chilufya recovered quickly and raced back to clear Mwelwa’s goal-bound effort.
Nsabata them stopped John Chingandu’s fiery shot from range in the 11th minute while Jesse Were’s 17th minute header went inches wide of the post.
Zanaco, though, did take the lead in the 19th minute just minutes after recovering from Zesco’s sustained attack when Zambia midfielder Isaac Chansa kept his cool to slot in a pass from Fashion Sakala.
It was game after that by Zesco but again the champions found Nsabata in inspired form.
Parity was restored in the 36th minute when Nsabata was finally breached thanks to a goal by midfielder Kondwani Mtonga.
Mtonga tapped-in a rebound on the line after his initial effort from a Chingandu pass came off the post.
The second half failed to match the quality from the opening 45 minutes but Zesco were the better side going forward.
Nsabata bravely stole the ball from striker Idris Mbombo’s feet in the 52nd minute and in the 78th minute made a breathtaking diving save to keep out Maybin Mwaba’s header.
Zesco and Zanaco stay 2nd and 3d on 22 and 21 points respectively after this exciting match while leaders Nkana have 26 points at the close of Week 12.