Forest Rangers still in race to pip Nkana to Zambian Super League title

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Forest Rangers in action against NAPSA Stars during the FAZ/MTN Zambia Super League. Rangers have a chance to pip Nkana to the title should they defeat ZANACO in a rescheduled game on Sunday. COURTESY: INSTAGRAM/Football Association of Zambia

Forest Rangers remained in the hunt to win the FAZ/MTN Zambian Super League after defeating fellow title challengers NAPSA Stars 1-0 on Thursday.

A 70th-minute strike from Lameck Silwaba secured a win for the Rangers and ended any hopes Stars had of wrestling the title away from defending champions ZESCO United.

NAPSA Stars had gone into the final round of matches needing a win to ensure that they stood a chance to win the title. However, their efforts were not enough and defeat left them in fourth place.

That win, coupled with an announcement that Rangers was successful in its appeal against the awarding of a 3-0 victory to ZANACO against them, means they will play one more game which will decide whether they win the title or not.

Nkana currently leads the table after being awarded a 3-0 victory as their opponents Nakambala Leopards failed to honour the fixture.

The result was a bit of a formality as Nakambala Leopards had failed to honour their previous two matches, against Buildcon and ZANACO, since the season’s resumption citing COVID-19 fears.

Forest Rangers will play against ZANACO on Sunday at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium knowing that a win will see them claim the title. However, a draw will not be enough to overhaul Nkana as Rangers have an inferior goal difference of +13 compared to the former’s +17.

Green Eagles finished third following a 2-0 home win against 10-man Lusaka Dynamos. Amity Shamende and Michael Mwenya (penalty) scored in each half while the visitors had midfielder Sidney Kalume sent off shortly after Eagles’ second goal.

Defending champions ZESCO United could only finish in fifth place following a 1-1 draw against Red Arrows. Kenyan striker Jesse Were netted a late penalty to cancel out an earlier spot-kick by veteran forward James Chamanga.

In other games, Chanda Mushili scored twice and David Nshirimana added another goal as Buildcon defeated Green Buffaloes 3-1 while ZANACO drew 1-1 against 10-man Lumwana Radiants and Nkwazi and Kansanshi also drew 1-1.

The games between Kabwe and Power Dynamos and Kabwe Youth Academy and Mufulira were postponed.

According to the final standings, regardless of the result of Sunday’s game, Nkana and Forest Rangers will represent Zambia in next season’s CAF Champions League while Green Eagles and NAPSA Stars will represent Zambia in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Nakambala Leopards, Mufulira and Kabwe Youth Academy finished in the bottom three places. Despite having one and two games in hand respectively, Mufulira and Kabwe Youth Academy will not be able to climb out of the relegation zone even if they won them.

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