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Caf Confederation Cup: Zanaco held by Esae to extend winless run

The Zambian outfit is still struggling for victories after they shared spoils in Porto-Novo

Zanaco drew their third straight Caf Confederation Cup Group B match following Sunday’s 0-0 stalemate away at Beninese side Esae at the Stade Charles de Gaulle.

After 1-1 draws against Daring Club Motema Pembe and RS Berkane away and at home, respectively, the Bankers again failed to win and they remain third on the standings with just three points.

Esae still anchor Group B as they picked up their first point of the campaign following two defeats in their previous games.

Zanaco dominated possession throughout the match but they could not translate their control of the game into goals.

The Banker’s dominance began as early as three minutes into the match when Giuly Manziba beat Esae goalkeeper Marcel Dandjinou but shot over the bar to waste a glorious scoring opportunity.

Cameroonian midfielder Moussa Souleymanou was the next to narrowly miss the target for Zanaco three minutes later, while Esase’s first chance at goal came through Maxime Kokpon, who shot just wide on 11 minutes.

Kokpon was back again four minutes later but was denied by Zanaco goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata.

Zanaco’s struggles in from of goal continued as the contest headed towards half-time when Charles Zulu dispossessed Farid Edou at the centre of the pitch, charged towards goal and beat Dandjinou only to disappointingly shoot just wide.

Zanaco came back from the break still lacking the finishing touch as an unmarked Ziyo Tembo failed to direct his headed effort into goal inside the box, two minutes after the restart.

Zimbabwean winger Tafadzwa Rusike was denied by the Esae goalkeeper a minute later and was substituted moments after for Rodgers Kola.

As the Zambians struggled, Esae defender Nnamdi Amairo almost gifted them with a free goal when he almost beat his own goalkeeper while desperately trying to clear Souleymanou’s shot.

On the hour mark, the hosts almost capitalised on Zanaco’s defensive lapse but Nsabata was on hand to avert danger.

The last real chance at goal for Zanaco was six minutes from time when Mauritanian midfielder Lassa Kiala’s free-kick from the edge of the box narrowly missed the target.

From then, they were twice nearly punished by Esae but Kopkon was denied by Nsabata a minute later, while substitute Michael Dossou had his shot cleared right on the goal-line by Kevin Owusu after beating Nsabata.

Zanaco will now host Esae in the return fixture in Lusaka on January 12.

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