(By Darious Kapembwa and Vera Phiri)
NKANA coach Beston Chambeshi has described his team’s CAF Confederation Cup group stage draw as fair.
Nkana have been drawn in group C with Ghana’s Asante Kotoko, Sudanese side Al Hilal Omdurman where former Nkana striker Idris Mbombo plays and dreaded nemesis Zesco United.
This will be the first time two Zambian clubs will be meeting in a CAF competition.
The draws have seen three Moroccan sides drawn in Group A with only Congo Brazzaville side Otoho d’ Oyo the only outsider.
Group B has two Tunisian giants in Etoile du Sahel and CS Sfaxien with Enugu Rangers and Salitas competing the group.
Group D has Zamalek, Go Mahia, Hussein Dey and Petro Atletico.
Zesco and Nkana are the two Zambian flag carriers in CAF competitions but will have to cancel each other out in the lucrative group stage.
Nkana made a return to the Group Stage of the CAF Confederation Cup for the first time since 2014.
They qualified after defeating Ivory Coast side San Pedro 3-0 on aggregate after having drawn 0-0 in Abidjan on Sunday.
Zesco United dumped out Kaizer Chiefs 5-2 on aggregate.
Reacting to the draw, Chambeshi said his team had higher chances of qualifying to the quarter finals.
He described the draw against Zesco as a brotherly affair.
“It’s a fair draw coming into the competition like this. I can’t say it’s not fair, all I can say is that we expected these draws to come out because in the group stage we expect to meet any team,” Chambeshi said.
“We will be meeting Zesco, I think they are our brothers and they know what is at stake and we know what we want to achieve in this tournament. It’s a fair draw because there is no way you can run away from these draws. The team’s chances are high, when you look at where we are coming from, it hasn’t been easy. We have to compete in this tournament.”
On his immediate former striker who tormented many teams in Nkana colours on the way to winning the golden boot last season, Chambeshi said: “He is our player, he is still in our books, we know him and he is a good player and what I can say is that it will be nice to meet him again.”
Mbombo will face two former employers as he also played for Zesco in the 2015/2016 season before he left for Saudi Arabia.