Zesco United were denied a victory in their Zambian Super League opener by a late Napsa Stars equaliser, as the two teams played out a 1-1 draw at the Woodlands Stadium on Sunday.
Clement Mwape had scored the opener for Zesco United early in the first half but a late goal by Burundian international Laudit Mavugo ensured the tie ended in a draw.
New signing Kelvin Kampamba delivered a good free kick in the 11th minute for which Mwape rose and headed past Kenyan goalkeeper Shaban Odhoji to break the deadlock.
The Pensioners had to make a change in the 20th minute when Bornwell Mwape had to walk off after picking up a knock and Chanda Mushili was introduced.
Bruce Musakanya – another of Timu ya Ziko's new signings – would have added a second goal in the 24th minute but his goal-bound powerful shot from outside the area was blocked by congested opponents in the box.
Zesco United thought they had doubled their lead in the 41st minute when Kenyan international Jesse Were scored before it was later ruled out for offside.
Were came close to scoring his first goal of the season again in the 45th minute but his effort went off target just before the teams headed for the half-time break.
An unlucky Zesco United saw their second goal ruled out for offside in the 50th minute when Mwila Phiri scored after a good build-up.
Timothy Otieno – who recently joined Napsa Stars from Tusker – was withdrawn in the 54th minute and his place was filled by Austin Banda.
Goalscorer Mavugo was brought on two minutes after the Otieno substitution as he came on to replace John Sikaumbwe.
Were was substituted in the 68th minute as his place was taken by Edward Tembo while David Odhiambo came on in the 72nd minute to replace Clement Mwape.
Former Kenyan Premier League top scorer John Makwatta was given a chance a minute before the final whistle as coach Numba Mumamba made changes hoping to double the lead in his first league game in charge.
Instead, Napsa Stars got an equaliser when Mavugo collected a neat pass from Luka Banda to ensure the sides shared the points in the season-opener.
Napsa Stars Staring XI: Shaban Odhoji, Aaron Kabwe, Bornwell Silengo, Luka Banda, Luka Ng’uni, Dickson Chapa, Jacob Ngulube, John Sikaumbe, Bornwell Mwape, Simon Nkhata, Timothy Otieno.
Subs: Muchelenganga, Chanda Mushili, Austin Banda, Amos Simwanza, Laudit Mavugo, Daniel Adoko, Lawrence Chungu.
Zesco United Staring XI: Ian Otieno, Simon Silwimba, Mwila Phiri, Clement Mwape, Adrian Chama, Samuel Sikaonga, Jesse Were, Logic Chinga'andu, Winstone Kalengo, Kelvin Kampamba, Bruce Musakanya
Subs: Jacob Banda, David Odhiambo, Edward Tembo, David Molinga, John Chingandu, Lazarous Phiri, John Makwatta