ZESCO United yesterday kicked off their 2016 CAF Champions League on a high note, beating little known South Sudanese side Al Ghazala Wau 2-0 in the preliminary round, first leg match played at Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
With the target of going past the group stage of the tournament, George ‘ Chicken’ Lwandamina tutored boys set a strong tone by recording a convincing win to make the return leg in two weeks time a formality.
Zesco started the game on a high note in search of an early goal, but found the South Sudanese well organized.
The five-time Zambian Super League champions dominated the first half, causing terror in the Al Ghazala defence but were wasteful in front of goal.
Zesco took an early lead in the seventh minute when Congolese-born striker Idriss Mbombo headed in Cletus Chama’s cross.
Mbombo almost gave Zesco the second goal when his shot hit the wood work in the 26th minute to the relief of Al Ghazala players.
Al Ghazala entered the first minutes of second half in full force, showing urgency on target but could not find the back of the net.
Their dominance was shortlived as Zesco raised the tempo and literally camping in Al Ghazala’s half.
Zesco produced several blunt shots on target which resulted in Lwandamina making substitutions to ensure a convincing win was recorded.
He substituted Lazarus Kambole and John Chingandu for Jesse Were and Anthony Akumu in the 64th and 78th minute respectively.
Zesco’s second goal came in added time through midfielder Cletus Chama’s volley in 94th minute, sending Levy Mwanawasa into celebration.
Al Ghazala will need to score three unanswered goals to qualify to the next round when they host Zesco in the final leg on February26 in Juba.
A 2-2 resultwould send the match into post penalties.
Lwandamina said he was happy that his boys worked hard and managed to get a clear win at home.