NKANA FC were finally crowned champions of the Zambia Super League after second-placed Forest Rangers could only manage a 0-0 draw in their re-arranged fixture against Zanaco FC yesterday.
Nkana claim a 13th Super League title, extending their record as the most successful club in the Zambian league, but claimed their victory by the narrowest of margins.
Nkana and Rangers both finished on 50 points from the shortened Super League season that saw 27 of the 34 rounds played, but the former’s +17 goal-difference was four better off than Rangers, who are denied their first ever title victory.
Zanaco had originally been handed a 3-0 walkover win in this fixture after Rangers did not contest the original game that was scheduled for July 18, after 17 of their players tested positive for Covid-19.
But they successfully managed to overturn that ruling, which handed them a lifeline in the championship, though it was ultimately one they could not take.
“It was a difficult game for us, we are disappointed not to win the title,” Rangers assistant coach Owen Kaposa said. “But we have done so much this season, so I must say well done to the guys. We just lacked composure in the box, I think we were in a hurry.”
Adam Zikiru had an early chance for Rangers but fired straight at the goalkeeper, while at the other end Zanaco’s Roger Kola shot narrowly wide.
Webster Muzaza had an excellent chance to give Rangers the lead just before halftime, but he could not steer his shot on target with just the keeper to beat.
That was about as good as it got for the men in yellow, who will feel they have blown an excellent chance to make history.
The Super League season usually has 34 rounds, but this was cut to 27 for this season due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Football Association of Zambia has targeted an 17 October start for the new 2020/21 campaign.