Zesco United have won their fifth Barclays Cup after they defeated Zanaco 1-0 in the 2016 final played on a soggy pitch at the National Heroes Stadium on Saturday.
The Ndola outfit, who last won the competition in 2014, reclaimed the cup thanks to a 71st minute goal by Idriss Mbombo who fired home from a low shot into the bottom right corner after Zanaco failed to clear a corner.
When scoring in today’s final, Mbombo became the only player to have scored in all competitions this season - Charity Shield (1 goal), Champions League (5), Super League (9) and Barclays Cup (1).
Zanaco dominated the early exchanges of this fast-paced encounter but were almost caught out in the 7th minute by a Mbombo header which was turned over and behind for a corner by Zanaco goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata following a free kick by Clatous Chama.
At the other end Fackson Kapumbu almost caught Zesco United goalkeeper Jacob Banda out of position with his floated cross in the 20th minute but the latter had the ball covered although he could not avoid conceding a corner.
Two minutes later Aubrey Funga had two good chances to break the deadlock but his efforts from close range were saved by Banda.
Zesco United weathered the storm thereafter and had chances with Mbombo who clipped the crossbar with his effort on the half hour mark. John Ching’andu fired narrowly over the crossbar with his effort from range in the 32nd minute while Jackson Were forced a save out of Nsabata from the top of the box on the stroke of half time.
There was little goal mouth action in the second half as the first effort on target came in the 57th minute from a free kick by Clatous Chama.
Zanaco were finally caught out when Clatous Chama’s cross from a corner kick seemed to have been cleared but Ching’andu placed the ball back into the area for David Owino whose spectacular effort was blocked by Boyd Musonda.
Musonda then attempted to make a clearance of the loose ball but he was challenged by Mbombo who unleashed a low shot on the turn to beat Nsabata.
For his contribution, Mbombo was voted the Man of the Match and walked away with a K1,000.00 cheque while it was Zanaco midfielder Charles Zulu who won the Player of the Tournament award worth K5,000.00.
Zesco United acting head coach Tenant Chembo won the Coach of the Tournament award worth K10,000.00.
As champions, Zesco United were given a winner’s cheque worth K300,000.00 for an unprecedented fifth time while Zanaco received K150,000.00 as runners-up, the second time they finished in that position having lost to the same opposition in 2010.
Zanaco XI: Toaster Nsabata, Aaron Katebe, Fackson Kapumbu, Ziyo Tembo, George Chilufya, Boyd Musonda 11 Charles Zulu (Ernest Mbewe 49’), Isaac Chansa, Aubrey Funga, Attram Kwame (Saith Sakala 74’), Rodrick Kabwe.
Unused Substitutes: Fashion Sakala, Peter Jacob Banda, Augustin Mulenga, Richard Kasonde, Racha Kola (GK)
Zesco United XI: Banda Jacob, Silwimba Simon (Dauti Musekwa 15’), Banh Adama Ben, Mtonga Kondwani, Odhiambo Owino David, Chaila Misheck, Chama Chota Clatous, Akumu Agay Anthony, Mbombo Ilunga Idriss, Were Jackson Jesse, Ching'andu John (Mwape Mwelwa 85’)
Unused Substitutes: Nyirenda Brown, Mapili Benard, Oluwafemi Ayo, Musekwa Daut, Kambole Lazarous, Mwaba Maybin.