Late Anene equaliser earns Napsa Stars draw

Kenyan striker Justus Anene came off the bench and scored a late equalizer, his first goal of the season, as Napsa Stars came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Kabwe Warriors in a Week 25 match played at the Godfrey Chitalu Stadium on Friday.

Anene, who had replaced Mathews Maleka in the second half, ran into the box and found the back of the net on the follow up, placing the ball in the bottom right corner after Kabwe Warriors goalkeeper Monga Ndala had parried Chitiya Mususu’s effort in his direction.

Anene is one of four Kenyans in the MTN FAZ Super league having joined Napsa Stars on July 27. The other three, David Owino Odhiambo, Anthony Agay Akum and Jesse Were Jackson are all at Zesco United.

Kabwe Warriors had dominated the opening exchanges of the first half and took an early lead through Mwansa Nsofwa whose low effort took a heavy bounce in front of goal to beat goalkeeper Phillip Banda in the 14th minute.

Mwansa could have increased the advantage two minutes later but his close range effort was straight at the Napsa Stars goalkeeper.

Napsa had a good chance to level matters in the 33rd minute when Ndala struggled to handle Mathews Macha’s low effort and needed a second touch to prevent a tap in from Mathews Maleka.

The hosts lost goal scorer Nsofwa due to injury ten minutes before the break and was replaced by Paul Simpemba who himself had a good chance but his effort from the left byline was covered by Banda.

Warriors were also forced into another injury induced substitution that saw Lameck Kafwaya being replaced by Patrick Kasunga in the second half when the visitors were in ascendancy.

To their own credit, Napsa Stars injected new energy into the team with the introduction of attack minded players in Chitiya Mususu came on for Mathews Macha, Collins Sikombe and Justus Anene who came on for Mathews Maleka.

It was Mususu’s industry and his parried effort that led to Anene’s goal in the 89th minute.

Kabwe Warriors coach Mohammed Fathy said conceding at the death felt like a defeat for his side.

“We missed a lot of chances in the first half and loss of concentration in the last five minutes caused the draw. Some of the players have to change their attitude because although we will maintain our sixth position with this result we might lose it if we keep playing like this.

“I don’t have too many players; I only have one striker so players in midfield and our top man must put in a lot of effort to secure our lead by scoring another goal. Without that kind of effort, we have a draw today and for me they lost at home,” said Fathy.

Kabwe Warriors stay in sixth with 36 points from 25 matches before their Week 26 visit to Zesco United which will be postponed to a later date due to a clash with the latter’s commitment in the Caf Champions League.

Meanwhile, Napsa Stars moved to 30 points and maintained 9th position, a position they could lose depending other results in matches to be played on Saturday and Sunday.