By Bwezani Mbewe
The fact that, with a maximum of 8 games left, Buildcon can look at their remaining fixtures and know they are so close to their dream that has been on the rise for the last three seasons. It would be an amazing achievement in itself.
With week 11 done and Buildcon with a game in hand above with a gap of two points, you wouldn’t blame the team for dreaming in that direction at the moment , its possible.
They will be careful going forward as games are coming thick and fast with very difficult games. MUZA frustrated them for long period at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium last weekend and they only made the breakthrough thanks to Lameck Banda’s penalty. But there is now that trip to Lumwana next and playing Radiants at the moment will not be easy, but again it is a game where their quality and mentality should see them through.
The Super League is a lot harder to call, but it is in their own hands – if Buildcon win their eight remaining league games they are champions of stream B and will have to wait for the winner of Stream A to determine the big team.
Can they win the remaining 8 games?
I don’t think they will win all eight games, but we are talking about a team who have won 6 of their past 10 games so far, scoring 16 and allowing 8. Losing only two as well.
They are the second best defensive team in the stream so far only second to Nkwazi who have allowed 7. It would not surprise me if they did.
There are some tricky games in there for Buildcon though, starting at Lumwana Radiants next weekend.
BUILDCON’s CAF attempt – remaining games
Lumwana Radiants (Away)
Green Eagles (Home)
Napsa Stars (Away)
Forest Rangers (Away)
Power Dynamos (Away)
Green Eagles have already beaten them this season, that was on 16th February 2019 and it was a late first half goal by George Chaloba in Choma.
Their second loss came right in Ndola against Forest Rangers . That game ended 2-3 with Moses Phiri and Kingsley Kangwa getting the goals for Buildcon while Zikiru Adams got a brace and rounded up by Webster Muzaza.
So that is an indication that this won’t be easy.
Look out games
The obvious games that stands out as being difficult are their trips to Lumwana and that to Napsa Stars. The other away games are to Arthur Davies and Nkana stadium. I tend to believe that Buildcon plays better against the assumption of big teams. The last away game is against Forest Rangers which could go either way as the two play at their home ground.
However it pans out, there are going to be more nerve-wracking moments for teams in stream B, and at some point teams will blink first and drop some points. It would be interesting to see what Nkana will do when they are done with the Africa safari because even with their current position, the Kitwe giants will fight hoping to get back in CAF.
I still see the CAF slots race going right to the final day of the season, with about six teams fighting to be in the top two.
It is great if you are a neutral, and able to sit and watch what is happening in this stream, but having watched the Zambian league so many times over the years now, it is not such an enjoyable experience for the teams and players directly involved – at least until the outcome has been decided in your favour.
To have a chance of succeeding and their dream of making it for CAF , Buildcon ideally need everyone fit and in their best form. They have a smallest squad this season in the league with only 25 registered. Team Doctors will have to work around the clock and make sure these players are on top of their health. But unfortunately this is football, that is never guaranteed, because players keep getting knocks.
Buildcon can cope with some of those setbacks because they have mainly National Team players and so far their coach is proving to be a very good coach , which is one of the reasons they have reached this stage of the season in the position they are in.
Buildcon has been excellent in some games and they have shown that they can be class. Remember the 2-0 victory away to Nkwazi and the two home victories against Lumwana and one stand out one against Power Dynamos gives that indication that , if they are on song, this club could be the best in the land.
They will need more of those sort of moments from the team in the next few weeks, because that, could make the crucial difference and push for CAF slots.
I don’t think the fact Buildcon were below their best at home to MUZA will concern the team leadership too much, because the main thing was getting through the tie and getting the three points which they did . They will need such grinding times as well.
If Buildcon go on to win the stream , then that performance will be forgotten.
The fact is, it was a poor game, and not much of a spectacle, is not their fault. It was more down to MUZA being good enough to cause them any problems, even against a Team Kopala team that played poorly.
But to get over the line and start working positive on this project, Buildcon will not necessarily have to be at their sparkling best every time. They will undoubtedly have to grind some of those games out , the way they did against MUZA.
Luck will play a part too, but that will be the same for every team trying to win any of the games that are still to be decided. You don’t win anything without having it on your side.
Yes Buildcon at the moment looks good but the eight games will tell. If you want to see the progress that Buildcon is doing this season, combine the two streams tables and see were this team is going to be.
Yes, its possible, we may have Team Kopala representing Zambia in CAF.