KONKOLA Blades yesterday failed to go through the relegation traps after losing to Nakambala Leopards as the 2015 Super Division season concluded in dramatic style.
On a day Nakambala, Lusaka Dynamos and Napsa Stars were also up for the drop, Blades failed to do themselves a favour as they lost the decisive match in a stadium that was packed to the rafters.
They join National Assembly on the journey to the first division while Kabwe Warriors, Lusaka Tigers, Lumwana Radiants and Mufulira Blackpool won promotion to the topflight.
Blades were demoted to the lower ranks in 2004 but bounced back to the Super Division after a season.
The Nakambala executive allowed fans to enter the stadium free of charge and the Sugarboys under the guidance of veteran coach Patrick Phiri paid back with a scintillating display.
Elijah Banda put Nakambala ahead with a close-range shot in the 24th minute and Judge Mkandawire doubled the advantage in the 75th minute before Nasha Kaya got the consolation five minutes from time.
“It is sad we have lost the important game of the season. Congratulations to Nakambala, they played well,” Blades coach John Munkonje said.
Nakambala coach Phiri said: “I knew we will do it but thanks to the fans for the support without them we would not have done it.”
DYNAMOS 1 ZESCO 2
Lusaka Dynamos survived the chop despite losing to champions Zesco United at Edwin Imboela Stadium in Lusaka, ROBINSON KUNDA reports.
John Ching’andu put Zesco in front after pouncing on a loose ball in the 37th minute and international striker Conlyde Luchanga restored parity on 55 minutes.
Dynamos’ Kennedy Kashobombo saw red on 80 minutes after slapping referee Francis Lombe.
Inform striker Winston Kalengo netted a penalty after a Dynamos player handled in added time to clinch the Super Division topscorer’s award with 18 goals.
FOREST 1 POWER 0
Forest Rangers stunned Power Dynamos at Dola Hill Ground in Ndola, MULWANDA LUPIYA reports.
Power, who needed to win 14-0 to dislodge Zanaco from second position, trailed as early as the fifth minute when Mundia Makokwa shook the net after benefiting from a Logic Ching’andu pass.
After restart, Forest goalkeeper Makasa Mufwaya collided with Power striker Martin Phiri and was rushed to hospital. Mufwaya was replaced by Richard Chama.
ZANACO 1 EAGLES 0
Ten-man Zanaco overcame Green Eagles to finish second on the log and earn a 2016 Confederation Cup slot, CECILIA ZULU reports.
Eagles’ Caesar Hakaluba, Mwila Phiri and Davies Mwape spurned scoring opportunities in the first half while Aubrey Funga and Boyd Musonda were culprits for Zanaco.
Defender George Chilufya made a difference heading in a Fackson Kapumbu corner in the 68th minute and substitute Peter Banda was sent for an early shower on 81 minutes after a crude tackle on Eagles midfielder Spencer Sautu.
NKANA 2 RANGERS 0
Walter Bwalya created the first goal and scored the other as Nkana wrapped up the 2015 season with victory over Nchanga Rangers in Kitwe, MWILA NTAMBI reports.
Hosea Silwimba opened the scoring account on 21 minutes connecting a pass from Bwalya.
Bwalya doubled the lead in the 32nd minute at Nkana Stadium.
NAPSA 2 NKWAZI 0
Two second half goals were enough for Napsa Stars to beat Barclays Cup finalists Nkwazi at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka, ALEX NJOVU reports.
After a barren first half, Saith Sakala put Napsa in front in the 47th minute with a cracker and four minutes later the striker got his brace from a penalty after a Nkwazi defender handled.
Nkwazi coach Elijah Chikwanda was sent to the stands for arguing with referee Stanley Hachiwa in the 57th minute.
BUFFALOES 2 ASSEMBLY 0
Green Buffaloes warmed up for Saturday’s Barclays Cup final against Nkwazi with victory over National Assembly at Independence Stadium in Lusaka.
Adrian Chama and Stephen Kabamba contributed a goal apiece.
WANDERERS 1 ARROWS 1
Mufulira Wanderers and Red Arrows shared points at Shinde Stadium, HONE SIAME reports.
Wanderers opened the scoring through Malama Chisopa’s penalty before Stanley Nshimbi restored parity from a freekick on 87 minutes.