KABWE Warrior coach Ian Bakala has said his team failed to sustain the pressure of wanting to play in the ABSA Cup leading to their 2 – 1 loss to Zanaco at Railways Stadium in Kabwe.
On Wednesday, Warriors needed to win against Zanaco to make it to the ABSA Cup but the team conceded two goals in the first 17 minutes casting an end to their dream.
Moses Phiri put Zanaco ahead in the 12th minutes, just five minutes before Roderick Kabwe scored from outside the box to give Zanaco a two goal lead.
The lead was cut short to one goal in the 28th minute when striker Jimmy Ndhlovu scored from a header but that was not enough to see Warriors win the match.
In an interview after the game, Bakala said his team put themselves under unnecessary pressure leading them to lose the match against the Bankers.
“I think my players were, under pressure from the need to play the ABSA Cup and that has cost us. They lost concentration we wanted to score early but they [Zanaco] scored us early and everything went wrong,” Bakala said.
The former Chipolopolo midfielder regretted that his team failed to utilise their chances.
Warriors were the most forceful of the two teams but they failed to make the most of their 21 goal attempts 13 which were on target against Zanaco’s five shots.
“We are having a lot of problems when it comes to scoring, you see when you miss a lot of chances, you will have a to pay the price.
“Zanaco had only two chances, they have used those chances for us we had so many chances but we did not utilise them,” Bakala said.
The game gave Zanaco a life line which could see the sneak into the top six should they beat Red Arrows with a comfortable margin in their last remaining game in hand.
“We played well, we were the better side…we managed to defend well at the end of the day. We wanted to concentrate on the game,” Zanaco coach Kelvin Kaindu said.
In an earlier match at the same venue, Zesco United moved into second on the log with 28 points, just two points behind Green Buffaloes after beating Prisons Leopards 1 – 0.
A first half striker from Enock Sakala Jr in the 16th minute was enough for Zesco to beat Prison.