The hopes of survival for the NAPSA Stars remained very shaky on Wednesday after a 2-1 home loss to Lumwana Radiants in a relegation battle at Woodlands Stadium in Lusaka.
The club currently occupies one of the four relegation spots with just three matches to go after losing their fifth consecutive league game.
NAPSA made a promising start when Danny Silavwe’s booming shot from the edge of the box was too hot to handle for Lumwana goalkeeper Katembwe Ngelekwa.
Silavwe had a golden opportunity to bag a brace in the 18th minute but squandered a chance to test the keeper when his shot was saved by Ngelekwa. NAPSA controlled proceedings heading into halftime but only had 1 goal to show for it.
The Stars then missed another chance to add to their lead in the 57th minute when Simon Nkhata sent his header onto the roof of Lumwana’s net.
Two minutes later, Lumwana found the equaliser through a Dominic Chungwa header.
Things went from bad to worse for NAPSA in the 61st minute when defender Amos Simwanza was shown a red card for a high boot on Musonda Siame.
It was the second defensive setback NAPSA had suffered after halftime following Chipolopolo defender Luka Banda’s departure in the 46th minute since he felt unwell during the break.
Lumwana then capitalised on the Stars’ defensive woes and got the winner in the 71st minute through a Dina Dinanga header after beating goalkeeper Philip Banda to a long-range delivery from Ngelekwa at the other end of the pitch.
NAPSA Stars stay put in 16th on 37 points, four points more than Lumwana who are second from bottom on 33 points.
However, the pressure remains on NAPSA whose next game is away to league leaders ZESCO United who are on the verge of winning the Zambian Premier League title, on June 9.
A win for ZESCO will hand them the league title and push NAPSA just a game away from relegation.