The CAF Champions league returns this weekend with round one clashes with the aggregate winner storming to the money spinning group stages where at least $536,690 at stake .
An interesting clash will be at the Nkana Stadium in Kitwe where hosts Nkana FC formerly known as the Red Devils will battle it out with Tanzania defending champions Simba in a two legged match.
Both teams have only met twice with each having huge wins at home ,Nkana beating Simba 4-0 and the reverse clash in Dar ending 3-0 in favour of Simba .
in 2002,Nkana coached by legendary Patrick Phiri who also went on to coach Simba beat Simba 4-0 in Kitwe before losing 3-0 away .Simba were under the late Kenyan James Sianga
Ironically Nkana has never lost any CAF Club match in Kitwe and are holding a 35 year record that Simba red hot striker Emmanuel Okwi says will come to an abrupt end tomorow
Nkana’s performance at home in the CAF club matches have been stellar and boasts of having not lost in Nkana stadium.
Nkana’s results at Home
Nkana started their CAF campaign in 1976 and in 1983 CAF Champions cup matches ,The Red Devils as they were known that time beat Highlanders 1-0 in the first round,drew 0-0 with Pan African of Tanzania (now Young Africans) ,beat Uganda’s Nakivubo Villa (now SC Villa) 4-0 and drew goalless with Zamalek but crushed out 2-0 on aggregate
in 1984 the Zambian giants beat Maseru United of Lesotho 5-0,Printing Agency of Somalia 3-0 and drew Zamalek 1-1 before being bundled out 5-1 on aggregate
in 1986, Nkana beat AC Sotema of Madagascar lost 4-1,drew 0-0 with Brewery Jimma of Ethiopia,beat Hearts of Oak 2-0 before holding fancied African Sports of Ivory Coast 1-1 despite crushing out on away goal.
Nkana beat Zamalek and Petro de Luanda by identical 1-0 scorelines in 1987 while in 1989 they defeated Defense of Botswana 4-1,humiliated Fire Brigade of Maurituius5-1 .
The same year(1989) they beat Zimbabwe Santos 2-1 and MC Oran 1-0 although the Algerians progressed after a 5-2 loss in Algiers .
In 1990 the Kitwe giants beat Express 3-1,Arsenal of Lesotho 3-0.beat Racing Bafoussa 1-0 before stopping Imuanyanwa 1-0 to storm to the historic finals
in 1998 they participated in the CAF confederations cup beating APR 1-0 and holding African Sports 1-1
in 2014 they participated after 12 years in the cold where they beat Swallows of Swaziland 5-2 and KCCA 2-1 before being eliminated by Zamalek 5-0 although they ensured they don’t lose at home holding them to a goalless draw
And as free scoring Simba prepares to take on the Copper belt based side ,one is left to ask if the unbeaten run jinx will be broken or status quo will remain .
Nkana eliminated mozambican champions UD Songo 3-1 on aggregate while Simba brushed aside alst years surprise package Mbabane Swallows 8-1 on aggregate
Sokafrika.com sampled the team that played in the 1990 CAF Champions league final against Algerian giants JS Kabilye
The first leg Final
Stade Olympique (“5 juillet”), Algiers
Nkana Red Devils Zam 1- 0 JS Kabilye (Algeria)
[Amos Bwalya 80pen]
The Second leg Final
The Nkana Stadium in Kitwe
[Rahmouni 47pen )
NB Nkana lost 5-3 on penalties
Shonga – Chizumira, Modon, Malitoli, Phiri – Amos Bwalya, Chishimba, Muselepete, Sakala, Masela – Kenneth Malitoli, Sikawze (Kazika). Coach: Moses Simwala.