By Sports Reporter
ZESCO United came from behind to book a place in the 2016 Barclays Cup semi-finals after they edged Division One side Konkola Blades 2-1 at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe yesterday.
After failing to reach the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League finals, losing 3-2 on aggregate to Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, Zesco were determined not to face another knockout from a cup tournament.
The league champions did not have a smooth start as Blades put up a strong opposition in all areas.
Blades took the lead in the 37th minute when Kilo Mwepu struck from inside the box.
In second half, Zesco picked up speed and looked more coordinated, causing havoc in the Blades defence. Zesco’s hunt for an equalizer materialized in the 53rd minute when Misheck Chaila gave them one.
Zesco continued to put pressure but it seemed Blades were fighting for a draw to send the match into penalties.
But Blades’ plans were shattered in the 90th minute when substitute Maybin Mwaba scored at close range to push Zesco into the semi-finals. Blades looked demoralized and could not overturn the results in added time.
Zesco coach George Lwandamina said he was happy that the team qualified to the semi-finals.
“What was important today is reaching the Barclays Cup semi-finals. The boys lacked the coordination in the first half; its good they picked up in the second half and scored two goals,” he said.
Zesco joins Zanaco, Power Dynamos and Nkana in the semi-finals set for October 15 at Arthur Davis Stadium.