Lumwana Radiants yesterday won their debut promotion to the FAZ/MTN league after beating Zesco Solwezi 1-0 in a week 34 final match played at Solwezi grounds to become the first team from North-Western to play in Zambia’s elite league next season.
The all-important goal from Rodgers Mukenge in the 70th minute was enough to send Lumwana Radiants into Super Division.
Zesco Solwezi started the game on a high note but lost steam in the second half that saw Lumwana Radiants take charge of the proceedings as they almost camped in their opponent’s area as the team pressed for the winner.
However, the goal came 20 minutes to full time when Mukenge found the back of the net to propel the Lumwana outfit to premier league football next season.
Coach Allan Kamwanga told the Daily Nation after the final whistle that his charges played according to plan and that the win was a milestone, not only for him, but for the entire team.
Kamwanga said the boys were focused from the start and showed the desire for a win adding that promotion was a big achievement for himself and the team.
“The boys fought hard till the end. I was impressed with their resilience. I commend the boys for the hard work this season and for achieving the target,” Kamwanga said.
Kamwanga’s boys know what to expect in top-flight football as they were given the test of what lies ahead when they lost 3-0 to Zanaco in the Barclays Cup quarter-finals in September at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium.
The team has finished the season on 66 points from 20 wins and six draws in 34 matches in which they have scored 49 goals and conceded 24.
Lumwana finished the league ahead of Kalulushi Modern Stars and Blackpool who are tied on 60 points apiece and are playing their concluding fixtures this afternoon.
This means either of the two teams will join Lumwana Radiants in premier league football should one of them win and the other draw or lose. However, not all hope is lost for FQM who will be hoping for the two teams to lose while they win and qualify as only a point separates them from two teams.
Lumwana Radiants joins Kabwe Warriors and Lusaka Tigers who have also won promotion in Super Division.
He said the Vatican had enjoyed a cordial bilateral relationship with Zambia since independence and that he was happy that he would be part of the Catholic Church’s celebration of 50 years of existence in Zambia.
“We are here to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Zambia and the Vatican as you may be aware that historically, we have shared very good relations since independence and ever since, the church has continued to grow and so, we need to participate in the celebration.
“We are also here to renew our understanding of Zambia as you know that it is not obvious that we have the opportunity of someone coming here with a special message from Pope Francis to our nuncio here in Lusaka. I come in the name of Pope Francis to greet all Zambians and to wish this country and the church here well,” Archbishop Gallagher said.
He also noted that there was nothing wrong with declaring Zambia as a Christian nation as long as the country portrayed values that identified itself as a Christian nation.
“The question is does what is imbedded in the constitution faithfully reflect the aspirations and ambitions of Zambians? For me, it should be by the enjoyment of the Christian network that should be a source of inspiration,” Archbishop Gallagher said.
Archbishop Gallagher is accompanied by His Excellence Vatican Nuncio Jurio Murat and his assistant Marco Fumika