MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
TWELVE-TIME Zambian league Champions Nkana yet again find themselves on a trip to stream B pacesetters Green Eagles who they play today in Choma, barely two days after last Wednesday’s hard fought away draw to Nkwazi Football Club.
Nkana, who have had a backlog of games due to their previous CAF engagements where they went as far as the quarter finals, now have three tough games in hand against third placed Buildcon, fourth placed Forest Rangers and sixth placed NAPSA Stars.
The Kitwe giants will be banking on collecting maximum points from their games in hand if they are to have some slight chance of topping the stream and returning to continental Football next season.
Should Nkana win all their remaining games in hand, they will accumulate 25 points which will not be enough to top the stream as pacesetters Eagles would still be above the Kitwe. Eagles currently have 28 points while Nkana have 18 points.
Nkana have struggled to collect maximum points this season where they have only recorded four wins out of eleven games making it difficult for them to return to continental football this August as there has been stiff competition from other teams in the stream.
There has been a lot of concern from Nkana faithfuls and coach Beston Chambeshi who has lamented over his players low fitness levels due to being tired as a result of the high backlog of games the team has had to play.
Nkana players have played football continuously and better than any other team in the league which has not gone well with their performances due to fatigue.
Nkana’s run has been made worse by the absence of key players in Chisamba Lungu, Harrison Chisala, Walter Bwalya and Tshimenga, all out of action due to injury.
Nkana finished second last season behind eventual winners ZESCO United, making it to the top of the continental slots allocated to Zambia.