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ZAMBIA’S CAF ENVOYS IN SHAKY START

(By Darious Kapembwa and Tobias Phiri)

ZESCO United coach Tenant Chembo was left frustrated after his team drew nil-all against lowly JKU of Zanzibar in Total CAF Champions League’s first leg preliminary round yesterday.

And Green Buffaloes returned to continental football with a worst possible start as they were humiliated 4-0 away at Al Masry of Egypt in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Zanaco started the brighter side of the Zambian sides, winning their Champions League game against Gambia AF 3-0 at Sunset stadium.

Chembo said in Zanzibar at Asaam stadium that his team needed to do the job at home in the return match to progress to the next round.

Zesco dominated play but failed to score especially in the first half.

“Very frustrated…it was a match that we dominated, more especially in the first half but having said that, it is ok that we didn’t concede. They are a good team, we can’t rule them out. We just have to work towards the objective, we will compete, and it’s all about competing,” said Chembo.

“…the match was competitive, they are a good team but we created chances, second half was even better, we did well in the second half but the game was competitive it’s a pity that we did not have a lot of penetrating passes in the second half although we played good football.”

JKU coach Ali Sleiman said: “I am not happy with the draw because this is our home and we should fully use our home advantage but we will work on our mistakes for the return leg. Zesco is a big name on the continent but we are going back to the drawing board to try and find a way of getting an away win.”

And Al Masry coach Hossam Hassan said he was satisfied with the result and was cautious going into the return leg in Lusaka.

“I am satisfied with the result. Thank God we managed to make our fans happy. We had a very good game but we have won nothing yet. There is still a game to be played in Lusaka and our target is to qualify to the next round. Green Buffaloes is a very good team and are well organised. Today, we were the better side but we have to remain focused in the return leg,” said the former Egyptian legendary striker.

The return matches are scheduled for next weekend.

Zanaco assistant coach Dabid Chilufya said: “This was a good run, and not conceding a goal at home gives us an upper hand but it’s not over yet because we will need to maintain the lead when we go out,” Dabid said.

And Gambia Armed Forces FC captain Emil Sambou said he knew the encounter would be tough as playing away from home was not easy.

“It’s not easy to play away from home but going into the second leg, expect different results. I knew this encounter would be tough but we still have hope in the next game,” said Sambou.

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