Nkana travelled to the city of Sfax in Tunisia to play the CAF Confederation Cup return match after successively beating CS Sfaxien at home 2-1. Nkana’s away form is a major source of worries amongst the soccer loving fans in the country as they seek to reach the semi finals.
The questions on everyone’s lips is, will Nkana record their second away win in Tunisia. The Red Devils journey dates back last year on the 28th November when they traveled to Mozambique to face UD Songo in the Champion League preliminary round, in the 34th minutes Harrison Chisala scored Nkana first goal then in the 80th minute Festus Mbewe add another, UD Songo scored a consolation goal in the 89th minute to make it 2-1.
That is the only away win Nkana has recorded in this year’s CAF competition, the return match in Kitwe Nkana beat UD Songo 2-1 to proceed to the first round were they faced Tazanian club Simba SC. Nkana won 2-1 at home but lost 3-1 away in Tazania.
The loss to Simba relegated them to CAF Confederation Cup, ‘Aba Red’ qualified to the Group Stage of CAFCC after beating San Pedro 3-nil at home then drew nil-nil in Ivory Coast. In the Group Stage Nkana was pair with local rival Zesco United, Sudanese Al Hilal and Ghanaian Asante Kotoko.
Almost everyone didn’t give Nkana a chance to go through after they lost their first Group Stage match in Ndola to Zesco 2-nil with John Ching’andu and Lazarus Kambole on the score sheet.
The Red Devils recovered from the loss when they beat Al Hilal at home 2-1 then coupled that win with another when they beat Asante Kotoko 3-1. ‘Aba Red’ traveled to Ghana where they were beaten by Kotoko 3-nil. Kelvin Kampamba, Ronald Kampamba and Shadrick Musonda all scored in the 2-nil win over Zesco United in Kitwe.
Nkana’s heaviest loss was in Sudan were Al Hilal demolished them 4-1 with their former player Idris Mbombo Scoring an overhead kick to rub salt in Nkana’s fans wounds. Nkana managed to go through to the Quarter finals even if they suffered a defeat to Al Hilal. They were paired with CS Sfaxien in the Quarter finals. Fast forward to today, Nkana is minimum a draw away from the semi finals but tracking their away record, they need to do a lot rightly starting from the back to the attackers for them to reach the Semis.
The Nkana defense has been so vulnerable in the past games, if they can be organized a possibility that they can upset the Tunisia is high. The midfielders should avoid losing possession so cheaply, the biggest mistake Nkana will make is to play a defensive game, they should play an open, attacking football. The mentality should be to win the match.
The Injury of Walter Bwalya, Harrison Chisala and Freddy El Soutra Tshimenga is surely a major blow but this is the time Ronald Sate Sate Kampamba and Kelvin Mubanga Kampamba can step up the game and be the difference between the team. The two Kampambas need to take up the leading role including everyone in the team if Nkana is to go through.
While opponent Sfaxien has been handed a boost to their squad after all their injured players including influential Alaedine Marzouki where declared fit to play this crucial encounter. Nkana can go through, yes they can.