Nkana fight back and stretch unbeaten CAF home run to 57 matches

Zambian club Nkana maintained a record of never losing a CAF match at home by fighting back to edge Sudanese visitors Al Hilal 2-1 Wednesday in the Confederation Cup.

The team from mining city Kitwe stretched the unbeaten run in all African competitions to 57 matches, winning 41 and drawing 16 at various Zambian venues.

It is a record not even the most successful CAF club by titles, Al Ahly of Egypt, can match as they have lost several times at home, most recently in a 2015 Confederation Cup semi-final.

Perhaps conscious of the unbeaten streak, which received huge pre-match media attention, Nkana started nervously and fell behind seven minutes into the Group C match.

Nkana goalkeeper Kelvin Malunga unwisely dashed from his goal and was beaten by an angled shot from Waleed Bakhet that landed in the far corner of the net.

But it took the Zambian outfit just seven more minutes to equalise with Democratic Republic of Congo-born Freddy Tshimenga tapping into the net a cross deflected into his path.

Captain Kevin Bwalya scored the winner on 75 minutes, darting onto to a headed pass and chipping the ball wide of Ugandan goalkeeper Jamal Salim.

Nkana coach Beston Chambeshi said a pre-match downpour made the pitch treacherous and the teams were unable to perform at their best in the 10,000-capacity Nkana Stadium.

"Unfortunately, the conditions prevented the sides from playing their usual style of football," said the former Nkana and Zambia star.

"Hilal came to Kitwe planning to take away at least one point so I am very happy that we won the match and got back into contention for a quarter-finals place."

- Action packed -

Former African champions Asante Kotoko of Ghana defeated the other Zambian challengers, Zesco United, 2-1 in Kumasi to leave all four Group C clubs with three points from two games.

In an action-packed first half at the Baba Yara Stadium, 2004 Confederation Cup runners-up Kotoko scored twice and Zesco fluffed a penalty.

Kwame Bonsu put the Ghanaians ahead on eight minutes with a shot from outside the box that was deflected past Zesco captain and goalkeeper Jacob Banda.

The Zambians were struggling to defend the right flank and the second Kotoko goal on 25 minutes also stemmed from a cross with Emmanuel Gyamfi applying the finishing touch.

Zesco were denied a chance to halve the deficit when Kenyan Jesse Were had his spot-kick brilliantly pushed away by Felix Annan.

The 2017 Confederation Cup quarter-finalists did reduce the arrears 18 minutes from time through Rahim Osumanu, setting up a tense finish before a big crowd in the 40,000-seat stadium.

Elsewhere, Kenyans Gor Mahia failed to build on a bright start in Group D as they fell 2-1 away to Petro Atletico of Angola at the Estadio 11 de Novembro in Luanda.

The scoreline flattered the Nairobi side as their consolation goal came from a Nicholas Kipkirui header two minutes into stoppage time.

Gor, who outplayed Zamalek of Egypt in matchday one this month, fell behind after 13 minutes when Manguxi scored and Brazilian Tony doubled the Petro lead before half-time.

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