Nchanga takes on Zesco in Barclays Cup semifinal

Nchanga Rangers test Zesco United’s resolve on Saturday, when they meet in a 2013 Barclays Cup semifinal tie at Arthur Davies in Kitwe.

This will be the two sides first meeting in the seven-year-old competition in which Zesco are the record champions with three wins.

Incidentally, Zesco’s last Barclays Cup win was under current Nchanga coach Fighton Simukonda who now is hoping to guide his side to their debut final appearance this year.

This will be Nchanga’s third appearance in the Barclays Cup in which their previous best showing was reaching the 2010 quarterfinals.

“I have won it as coach before and the players want to win it here as well and I can see that desire to win among the players,” Simukonda said.

Nchanga will be without striker Nawa Nawa, who tormented Zesco with a brace in their two sides last meeting this year in the league on July 27, that Nchanga won 2-1 away in Ndola.

Nawa is injured but Simukonda will bank on the services of striker’s Bornwell Mwape, Felix Nyaende and Alex Ngonga to maintain their unbeaten record over Zesco this season.

Meanwhile, second placed Zesco are in hot pursuit for silverware to compensate for their stuttering form in the league title race.

Furthermore, Zesco head into Saturday’s semi-final still bruised by last Sunday’s 2-1 away loss in the league to relegation candidates Konkola Mine Police.

“We have shifted our focus to the Barclays Cup and we are very ready for Nchanga Rangers, Chembo said.

And in the second semifinal at the same venue, Red Arrows face Green Buffaloes in the second kick-off of the doubleheader in Kitwe./ Supersport