AND THE RUN IN OF GAMES TOWARDS GROUP STAGE
The 2015 MTN Super League champions qualified to the first round of the CAF Champions League after beating Al-Ghazal 1-0 away to South Sudan in the return match played on Friday 26th February 2016. Zesco earlier beat the Sudan’s team 2-0 at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in the first Leg.
WHAT DOES THE WIN MEAN?
The win for Zesco United mean they qualify for the first round of the tournament that is being played for the 52nd edition of Africa’s premier club football tournament and the 20th edition under the current CAF Champions League format.
Zesco will wait for the winner between AS Douanas Dakar of Senagal and Horoya of Guinea who played to a 0-0 draw in the first leg and will play their second leg on Sunday 28th February 2016.
FIRST ROUND FIXTURES
With that opponent being known this Sunday the First Round tie will be played on the weekend of 11th to 13th March while the second leg will be played on the weekend from 18th -20th March 2016. Zesco United will play the first leg at home.
The second round of Games will be played in April with the first Leg being played the weekend of 8th to 10th April with the second leg coming the weekend of 19th to 20th April. Should Zesco qualify to the second round Cotton Sport of Cameroun which was seeded will be waiting but they have to beat either Stade Malien of Mali or RC Bobo Dioulasso of Burkina Faso but most likelt Stade Malien who are already leading with a 3-1 aggregate from the first leg.
The winners of the second round advance to the group stage, while the losers enter the 2016 CAF Confederation Cup play-off round.
My Analysis is that Zesco United can manage to qualify to the Group stage and the win away in South Sudan in the Preliminary round is a big statement that Zesco perhaps have arrived at the scene of African Football and they can actually manage to compete among the best.
Zesco though should utilize home games with the game coming up in April to have serious chances of progressing to the second round. I didn’t watch the game played in Ndola against Al-Ghazal and reports suggest that the team missed a lot of scoring chances which if that trend continues, Zesco may again fail to reach the Promised Land (GROUP STAGE) which they have promised its fans.
ALL THE BEST ZESCO UNITED