DEFENDING champions Zesco United yesterday kept alive their chances of winning their fifth Barclays Cup when they beat Kabwe Warriors in the quarter-final match in Lusaka.
Mwape Mwelwa and Jackson Mwanza’s first-half strikes helped the Super Division leaders ease to a comfortable win over Warriors.
Mwelwa fired Zesco ahead after 14 minutes before Mwanza slotted home the second, three minutes later to put the game beyond Warriors’ reach.
Warriors, who lost to Zesco 3-1 in the Super Division last season managed to create a few chances in the second-half but could not breach the David Odhiambo-marshalled defence.
And even though Zesco made a number of changes to their starting line-up but a shock never looked on the cards once Mwape opened the scoring against the run of play when he lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Lawrence Mulenga.
Mwanza, then completed the scoring 17 minutes into the match when he fired home inside box.
Zesco defender Daudi Musekwa was man of the match walking away with K1,000.
“God willing, we will retain the Cup. We are focused on achieving our targets,” Zesco assistant coach Tenant Chembo said.
Warriors coach Mohammed Fathy is not disappointed with the loss.
“Our defenders made some mistakes but overall, we played well against an experienced team [Zesco]. I am proud of my players,” Fathy said.
ZANACO 3 LUMWANA 0
In the other quarter-final, at the same venue, Zanaco edged a 10-man Division One (North) league leaders Lumwana Radiants.
This means all the semi-finalists will be Super Division teams just like last year.
Defenders Fackson Kapumbu, Ziyo Tembo and George Chilufya were on target to ensure Zanaco remain in contention to win the Barclays Cup and Super Division title.
Kapumbu opened the scoring in the 15th minute from a well-executed free-kick before skipper Tembo doubled the lead with a diving header in the 47th minute.
Chilufya added the third when he beat Lumwana with a powerful header off Kapumbu’s corner.
The North-Western Province-based outfit suffered a setback in the 52 minute when Rodgers Mukenge was sent off by FIFA referee Jani Sikazwe.
Lumwana’s Gozon Mutale was voted man of the match for his impressive performance.
The Allan Kamwanga-coached Lumwana impressed despite playing with one-man down for 38 minutes.
Zesco will face Zanaco in the semi-finals while Green Buffaloes tackle Nkwazi on October 17.