Zesco United rallied to overcame a plucky Mighty Mufulira Wanderers on Tuesday afternoon at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola to draw 1-1 at home in a rescheduled Week 15 game.
The match was Zesco’s final league engagement before hosting ASEC Mimosa of Cote d’Ivoire on July 16 in a 2016 CAF Champions League Group A match at the same venue.
Wanderers rattled Zesco in the opening five minutes and took the lead in the 4th minute when Rahim Osumanu headed-in Mike Katimba’s cross.
Zesco shrugged off the early wave from Mighty and stamped their authority in the match led by midfielder Cletus Chama who gave the visitors’ defence a torrid time throughout the proceedings.
Striker Jesse Were almost equalized in the 19th minute but sent his shot high and over from range from which he usually easily punishes opposition goalkeepers and defenders.
Wanderers them suffered a setback in the 38th minute when goalkeeper Joshua Manyongo, who was in inspired form against Zesco on the day, was stretchered-off after failing to recover from an injury he sustained in a duel for the ball with Chama in the 31st minute.
Chrispin Chisowa replaced him and jumped straight into a sustained barrage of Zesco pressure before succumbing in the 45th minute when Were fired in from the near post a ball that Mighty defenders failed to clear.
Were takes his tally to 12 goals this season topping the race for the 2016 Golden Boot and is two goals more than Walter Bwalya of Nkana.
Meanwhile, Zesco pushed hard for the winner after the break but Mighty held out wave after wave of attack from the FAZ Super Division champions to earn their first point against Zesco since the 2005 season.
Zesco stay second on 33 points, seven behind Zanaco after 16 and 17 games played respectively after collecting five out of a possible nine points from their last three games in a space of one week.
Mighty stay put in 12th place despite the draw on 19 points from 17 matches to erase their home and away defeats suffered at the hands of Zesco in the 2015 season.