Zesco United plunge into a life and death encounter when they host Etoile du Sahel at Levy Mwanawasa in a crucial Caf Champions League Group D match on Tuesday.
Needing nothing short of victory, Zesco’s chances of reaching the semifinals, like two seasons ago, are now hanging in the balance.
Standing in third-placed Zesco’s way are Angolan champions Primeiro Agosto who are on second-place and a point ahead of them.
The Zambians need to win at all cost and then pray that Agosto lose to basement side Mbabane Swallows.
Before worrying about the Agosto-Swallows encounter, collecting three points against Etoile, who are yet to lose in this group, is an insurmountable task for Zesco.
Tuesday’s match is arguably Zesco’s biggest match since meeting Mamelodi Sundowns in the Caf Champions League last four stage in 2016.
But with striker Lazarus Kambole in top form after hitting a hat-trick in the last match away at Mbabane Swallows last week, Zesco have a hope of upsetting the Tunisians.
Kambole is currently the leading Caf Champions League scorer with four goals after last week’s exploits.
Etoile have already qualified for the quarter-finals, meaning their visit to Ndola will have no pressure on them and that could make them dangerous.
Even a defeat would not affect Etoile’s place at the top of this group.
Elsewhere in Luanda, second-placed Agosto need to win when they welcome Swallows who have lost their last three games.
Swallows beat Agosto 1-0 in the reverse fixture in Swaziland and pulling an upset on foreign soil is their priority as they still habour chances of progressing to the quarter-finals.
Victory for Swallows would lift them to second position on the log if Etoile beat Zesco.