MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
NAPSA Stars are set to make history as they walk into this afternoon’s tightly contested fixture against Forest Rangers which could hand them a maiden super league title while their opponents are seeking to make the cut for continental football after painfully dropping out of the title race.
And Ndola’s Kabushi member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo has promised Forest Rangers a K100,000 reward if the team beats Napsa and in turn qualifies to either the CAF champions league or Confederations cup.
The Pensioners looks the favourite of the two sides having won their last five matches with their recent being a win against Buildcon last Friday which propelled them to top spot supplanting Nkana while Forest lost to Power Dynamos 3-2 in Kitwe therefore deeming their title hopes.
Buoyed by anger over their loss of points from their un-played game against Zanaco to which Forest were penalised, and coupled with the loss to the Power Dynamos thereby crashing their title hopes, the Ndola side will be looking to not leaving anything to chance to ensure a maiden continental football slot is secured.
On the other hand Napsa are looking to secure a historic maiden title having had a good run this season that has seen trade in the top four of the competition since the start of the 2019/2020 soccer season.
Prior to the start of the season, NAPSA were ranked outsiders by bookmakers after barely having come from surviving relegation two seasons ago.
Coach Mohamed Fathi who just months after being engaged helped NAPSA survive relegation by a whisper in 2018 is leading the side to challenge for a historical title could also make history by becoming the Foreign coach to win the Zambian League title in 20 years since Guston Mutobo won it with Power Dynamos in 2000.
The Only trophy Napsa has won is the 2012 Barclays Cup while Forest have only won the Coca-Cola Cup in 2005 with both teams having never qualified for any continental football.
Meanwhile, Defending champions Zesco United face Red Arrows at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium while Green Eagles host Lusaka Dynamos as the battle for a top four finish rages on.
In other fixtures, Buidcon will play Green Buffalos at Indeni Sports Complex while Nkwazi will take on relegation bound Kansanshi Dynamos at Edwin Imboela stadium.
Having been relegated due to the premature end of the league Mufulira Wanderers and Kabwe Youth Soccer Academy are set to face off at President Stadium.
The match is however not confirmed because KYSA players were placed on self-quarantine after nine players were declared Covid-19 positive last week.
At Sunset Stadium, Zanaco face Lumwana Radiants knowing that a win over Patrick Phiri’s boys will propel them into the top four as Kabwe Warriors take on Power Dynamos at Godfrey Chitalu Stadium.