Zesco United reached the final of the 2017 Samuel Zoom Ndhlovu Charity Shield after they defeated Power Dynamos 4-2 in the first semi-final played at Arthur Davies Stadium on Thursday.
Kenyan forward Jesse Were who top scored for the Ndola-based side last season, scored a brace and his countryman David Owino contributed a goal while the fourth goal came by way of an own goal from Power Dynamos defender Billy Mutale.
Lyson Sikaonga who arrived from Roan United during the off season and Larry Bwalya scored a goal apiece for Power Dynamos.
The deadlock was broken in the 17th minute when Mutale attempted to clear Idriss Mbombo's cross but under pressure from Were he pushed the ball into his own net to gift the visitors an early lead.
It did not take long for Zesco United to double their advantage as Owino beat Allan Chibwe with a low effort fired in at the top of the box after the hosts failed to clear their lines following a free kick delivered by Fackson Kapumbu.
A minute later Zesco United added a third goal through Were who tapped home from close range after he was set up by Kapumbu.
Sikaonga pulled a goal back for the hosts in the 42nd minute for the scoreline to read 3-1 in favour of Zesco United at the break.
After the break Power Dynamos coach Danny Kabwe introduced Larry Bwalya and Martin Phiri for Kelvin Mubanga and Hichani Himonde respectively and it was Bwalya who found the back of the net in the 86th minute but by then there was no time to complete a comeback as it was Zesco United who progressed to the final with a 4-2 victory.
Kabwe said he was disappointed and singled out his defense for the defeat.
“The result is very disappointing. We did not start very well because in the first half we respected Zesco too much and our defense was very shaky. But we came back stronger in the second half and we took positives out of that. It was a very good indication for us because we're have several new players in the team," he said.
And Zesco United coach Zlatco Krmpotic said he was satisfied with the result but expressed disappointment with how his team lost momentum.
"We played very well for 35 minutes in the first half but I was not satisfied with our display in the second half. We have won today but we have to work on some of our weaknesses in the final on Sunday because we are using this to prepare for Enugu Rangers in the Caf Confederation Cup. "
Zesco United will play the winner of the tie second semi-final between Zanaco and Nkana at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Sunday, April 2.