By MICHAEL MIYOBA
ZAMBIAS envoys in the CAF champions league Zanaco Football Club has progressed to the next round of Africa’s most prestigious club tournament after handing Gambia Armed Forces FC 6-1 aggregate defeat.
Numba Mumamba’s boys thrashed the army sponsored side 3-1 in the return leg fixture played yesterday in Banjul to progressed to the next round after having beaten the Gambian soldiers 3-0 in the first leg played two weeks ago at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
Despite playing away from home, Zanaco dominated play in the first half and missed chances which could have put them in the lead in the early stages of the game. Strikers Martin Phiri, Felix Nyaende and Charles Zulu missed a few chances before speedy winger Ernest Mbewe put Zanaco in the lead 17 minutes into the first half after benefiting from Nyaende’s pass.
GAF however responded five minutes before the break when striker Lamin Senneh beat Zanaco goal minder Toaster Nsabata to make it 1-1.
The bankers however continued putting the home team under pressure in the second half of the game but could not find the back of the net as GAF FC goal keeper Baka Ceesay produced some stunning saves to prevent Zanaco from scoring their second goal.
Zanaco’s veteran midfielder, Isaac Chansa almost put the bankers ahead in the dying minutes of the second half but his brilliant shot on target was carefully dealt with by Ceesay.
Ceesay could however not stop Zanaco’s two-goal hero in the 3-0 bashing of GAF FC in Lusaka, Martin Phiri from scoring his third goal in the tournament to give Zanaco a 2-1 lead four minutes before the final whistle.
Central midfielder George Chilufya scored Zanaco’s third goal in the 89th minute after being assisted by winger Zulu to give the bankers a 3-1 advantage. Zanaco will now meet Mbabane Swallow FC of Swaziland with the winners in the two-legged fixture progressing to the group stages of the CAF champions league tournament.