Zambian League leaders Zesco United coach George Lwandamina has conceded that the gap that has dramatically dwindled between his team and the chasing pack is of major concern.
The defending champions on Saturday suffered their second league defeat of the 2019/2020 campaign when nine-man Forest Rangers beat them 1-0 in the Ndola derby at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Zesco’s loss came two games after their beaten start to the league season was ended on December 14 following a 1-0 away loss to Nkana in the big Copperbelt derby on December 14 in Kitwe.
The eight-time champions are now stuck on 31 points, tied with second-placed Napsa Stars who also lost 1-0 to fourth placed Nkana who are now a point behind the top two.
Third placed Green Eagles, like Nkana, have 30 points after sixteen games played at the halfway mark of the campaign.
“It is not comforting. It was going to be comforting if we had collected three points,” Lwandamina said.
“Other teams are coming and are putting pressure on us. So we cannot go into a comfort zone, not yet.”
But Lwandamina admitted that local derbies were another matter altogether after fifth placed Forest collected their third away win over Zesco stretching back to the 2017 season.
“Local derbies are like that, you don’t expect too much. Whoever has a chance can pick up three points and they won,” Lwandamina added.
Meanwhile, Zesco could be toppled this coming weekend in absentia as they head to Egypt to face Zamalek on January 10 in a CAF Champions League Group A fixture in Cairo.
By Kalumiana Kalumiana