13 February 2019

Africa: Nkana Rally to Beat Hilal

Nkana got their Group C campaign back on track after they rallied to beat Al Hilal of Sudan 2-1 at home in Kitwe on Wednesday. The win was a huge relief for Nkana after losing 2-0 away at compatriots Zesco United a fortnight ago in the all-Zambia affair down the road at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

"I am happy that we have collected maximum points. It wasn't easy playing Al Hilal because they came here with two intensions; to get a draw or a win," Nkana coach Beston Chambeshi said after the match.

Waleed Hamid scored for the visitors while Fred Tshimenga and Walter Bwalya struck in either half to hand Nkana the three points.

The result also saw Hilal suffer a setback after kicking off their with a 1-0 home win over Ghana's Asante Kotoko in Khartoum on February 3.

"Today the pitch was not good because of the rain and we also did not have that attitude to play in this weather. We were just not good enough today," lamented Hilal coach Irad Zaafouri.

Hamid put Hilal in the seventh minute with a fine shot from an acute angle that startled goalkeeper Kelvin Malunga.

But the lead lasted just six minutes when Tshimenga leveled to see the two sides go 1-1 into the break.

Meanwhile, the spotlight in the match also fell on ex-Nkana striker Idris Mbombo who was returning to the Zambian club for the first time since he moved to Hilal last November.

Mbombo found the first half rather frustrating when his ex-team mate and Nkana defenders Musa Mohammed and Ben Banh efficiently policed him in the first period.

However, Mbombo found some breathing space after the hour mark but miscued his first shot in the 62nd minute and five minutes later fired his volley inches high.

But Nkana withered that Mbombo storm when Bwalya leapt in the 74th minute to meet a headed-down ball from Simon Bwalya and fire in from close-range.

Nkana have 3 points, level with Al Hilal at the end of match -day-two ahead of their February 24 dates against Kotoko at home in Kitwe and Zesco away in Ndola respectively.

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