Zesco United on Wednesday made a great escape act to steal a dramatic 2-2 home draw with Green Buffaloes at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
The point saw Zesco bounce back from last weekend’s 1-0 away loss at Napsa Stars in what was their first competitive loss in 2017.
However, Zesco’s revival wasn’t that straightforward after Buffaloes took a 2-0 lead into the break.
Brain Mwila skipped my past Marcel Kalonda to fire in the first goal in the 11th minute.
Diamond Chikwekwe added the second goal in the 26th minute on the rebound after Banda had parried his initial header back onto his path.
Zesco’s first half frustrations were compounded in the 38th minute when John Chingandu sent his penalty wide after Felon Sitonya had handled the ball.
But coach Zlatko Krmpotic made three critical changes in the 46th minute.
Ben Banh, Kondwani Mtonga and Jesse Were came on Fackson kapumbu, Misheck Chaila and Lazarus Kambole respectively.
However, two minutes after making those changes, Krmpotic was sent from the bench by referee Derrick Kafuli of Luanshya.
The goodness is the changes paid off and in the 72nd minute, Banh headed in Were’s cross to spark Zesco’s come back as Buffaloes stoutly attempted to defend their lead.
Idris Mbombo was even unfortunate not to get the equaliser in the 81st minute when Sydney Lombe cleared his effort off the line.
Respite for Zesco came five minutes deep into stoppage time when David Owino nodded-in Chingandu’s corner to see the homeside and the fans breathe a massive sigh of relief.
Zesco now turn their attention to Egyptian club Smouha this Saturday at the same venue whom they host in an opening Group C match of the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup.