12 November 2012

Zambia: Power Lost It Up Front - Lwandamina

RED Arrows coach George Lwandamina has said Power Dynamos' undoing in the failed quest to retain the MTN-FAZ Premier league title was their lack of the cutting edge in the closing league fixture which saw the Kitwe side beaten 1-0 by the airmen.

Needing a win on a rainy Saturday afternoon to retain the league title, Power Dynamos were beaten by Red Arrows while second placed Zanaco won away to Nkana, the two results seeing the latter snatch the league title on the last day.

Lwandamina, who is former Zambia coach, said that his side benefitted from a Power side that was playing without a recognised striker, a situation which he said gave his boys more possession with the ball and threatened the Power goal with potency.

"The system of playing without a striker is one they have played and had brought them success. I respect that but today it worked to our advantage as we were able to have more players in midfield and saw more of the ball," he said.

Power played 65 minutes without a recognised striker, playing an agile, clever but small Simon Bwalya, a midfielder, upfront but with fellow players opting to find him with high balls, a situation which gave masculine defender Bronson Chama no problems to handle.

Bwalya was the smallest player on the pitch while Chama was the biggest.

While sympathising with Power on losing the title in dramatic fashion on the last day of the league action, Lwandamina was excited that the champions had to be decided on the last day of the league unlike previous season where winners were known way before the league ended.

He said the events of the league championship destination being decided on the last day could be a sign that football standards were improving but also said it could also be a sign that things have taken a down turn.

His scepticism could be coming from the fact that Zanaco's title winning points tally 61 could be one of the lowest since the group changed to be a 15-club grouping.

And vanquished Power coach Beston Chambeshi remained magnanimous in defeat congratulating Zanaco for the hard fought league title but praised his lads for giving the bankers a real chase going into the close of the season.

Power had overturned a seven-point deficit over Zanaco into a one-point lead going into the last league match which they lost to hand back the leadership and eventually the title to the Lusaka side.

"We must plan for next year, we have continental football coming and that means making sure we have a strong squad to fill one or two areas which need boosting," he said.

Despite the heavy heart of losing the league title to Zanaco, Power already have the Samuel Zoom' Ndhlovu Charity Shield in their cabinet and would hope to add on the Barclays Cup this weekend when they face Napsa Stars in the final at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

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