A lone goal from Diego Apanene saw Zesco relinquish the first position on the log to Lusaka Dynamos in a midweek week 23 encounter against Nkana at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Zesco who in the first half had a few chances with Ivorian defender Ben Adamah missing a penalty awarded after a handball by a Nkana defender.
The visitors dominated in the first minutes of the match recording 6 corners before the home side finally settled.
The highly contested match saw the visitors take the lead after Ben Adamah fouled Ronald Kampamba and awarded a free kick.
Apanene took the kick and a goalkeeping error by Jacob Banda resulted in the visitors taking the 3 points home.
Zesco coach Zlatko Krmpotic said the absence of key players was felt in the fixture.
“We missed Jesse, Kondwani, Jackson, John, Fackson and Simon in the match, however we fought for a goal after they scored but as we saw they went deep in defending and we failed to score,” he said.
Zesco was without Jesse Were (ankle injury), Jackson Mwanza (sprained ankle), Kondwani Mtonga (sustained a minor cut on the forehead), John Chingandu and Fackson Kapumbu (National team).
Zesco will on Sunday face Napsa Stars in a double header at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.