NKANA captain Idris Mbombo was left in tears following his team’s 2-2 draw with party spoilers Red Arrows in a penultimate MTN/FAZ Super League match at Nkoloma stadium Saturday afternoon.
Nkana missed an opportunity to go into the last round of games with fingertips on the title as they now have to rely on results from between their close opponents in the title race as well as winning their last game against Nakambala Leopards who may not travel altogether.
Young Joseph Phiri capitalised on the sloppy Nkana defence to score in the first minute of the first half before veteran James Chamanga found the Nkana defence wanting again to double the lead on 57 minutes.
Needing to get back in contention, Nkana coach Manfred Chabinga rung changes bringing on Soutra Tshimenga, Martin Dzila, young Patrick Gondwe and Obed Masumbuko.
The changes paid off as the Kitwe side dominated their hosts, resulting in Mbombo’s quick brace in the 70th and 74th minutes.
The draw means Nkana could only end the day in second position with 47 points, a point less than leaders NAPSA Stars and a point more than third placed Zesco United and fourth placed Forest Rangers going into the final games next Wednesday.
In his post match comments, a tearful Mbombo said: “It’s so painful to give away points in such a manner. We didn’t start well, we conceded very early in the game, we wanted to win this game in order to have a realistic chance of winning the title. Now we just have to play well against Nakambala and see how results go elsewhere.”
Arrows assistant coach Songwe Chalwe said it was sad to give away a two-goal lead in a game they wanted to avenge a heavy loss suffered at the hands of Nkana in the reverse fixture.
Earlier at the same venue, Zesco beat Lusaka Dynamos 1-0.
The Nkana result blew the title race wide open with NAPSA, Forest, Zesco, Nkana all with a chance to win it on the final day.