Kaizer Chiefs were forced to endure a 3-1 defeat to Zesco United in their Caf Confederation Cup play-off round first leg on Sunday, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The Glamour Boys made their way into the play-off round of the competition after claiming a comfortable 6-0 aggregate win over Madagascar outfit Elgeco Plus in the previous round.
Meanwhile, Zegalacticos were eliminated from the Caf Champions League by Congolese giants TP Mazembe in the play-off round, and as a result they have dropped down to the Confed Cup.
The home side showed their intent early and threatened the Amakhosi goal in the opening exchanges of the match.
Amakhosi came close to breaking the deadlock in the 14th minute when Willard Katsande had a free header inside the area, but the midfielder’s effort sailed wide of the target.
It was the home side who got the breakthrough 10 minutes later when Lazarous Kambole received a pass from Rahin Ousumanu before slotting the ball home.
Zesco were then awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark when Teenage Hadebe brought down Jesse Were inside the box. Were stepped up and made no mistake from the spot-kick to double the hosts’ lead.
However, Chiefs did manage to pull a goal back three minutes later, with Khama Billiat scoring a crucial away goal for the visitors.
Zesco picked up were they left off in the first half and extended their lead early in the second stanza when Were latched on to a cross from Kambole before finding the net from close range. 3-1.
Chiefs thought they had pulled a goal back in the 68th minute when Billiat put the ball into the back of the net, but the Zimbabwean’s effort was ruled offside.
Leonardo Castro should have found the net after the 76th minute, but the striker was unable to find the target with his effort as it sailed wide of goal.
Amakhosi pressed forward in search of a goal in the closing stages of the game, but Zesco managed to hold on to their lead until the final whistle to secure the win at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
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