Ian Otieno shines as Zesco United salvage draw against Forest Rangers

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STARS ABROAD Ian Otieno shines as Zesco United salvage draw against Forest Rangers

Festus Chuma 20:33 - 09.12.2023

Ian Otieno's standout performance in the Ndola Derby captivated fans as Zesco United held Forest Rangers in a thrilling clash.

Harambee Stars goalkeeper Ian Otieno played a pivotal role in Zesco United's 1-1 draw against Forest Rangers in a Zambia Super League match played on Saturday afternoon.

Otieno's remarkable performance was the talk of town, as he continued his quest to reclaim his spot at the club following a challenging previous season spent mostly on the bench.

Zesco went into the match aiming to secure their fifth consecutive victory, having already built a commanding four-point lead at the summit of the table.

Forest Rangers, however, had other plans and made their intentions clear in the 23rd minute when Benson Kolala curled a beautiful free-kick past a helpless Otieno, giving the home team the early advantage.

Despite the setback, Otieno made some acrobatic saves and timely interventions that kept Zesco in the game.

Abraham Siankombo missed a golden opportunity to score an equalizer in the 33rd minute after a Forest defender's poor clearance gifted him a chance from range, only to see his shot sail wide.

Rangers' goalkeeper, Daniel Mutshinemu, also played a crucial role, making a series of incredible saves to keep his team in the lead.

The second half saw Zesco turn up the heat, pushing forward with determination. They had two clear chances that were miraculously cleared by Forest's resolute defense.

The closest call came when Kemuka's low shot beat the goalkeeper, but defender Chinga was there on the goal line to make a crucial clearance.

Around the half-hour mark, there was a heart-stopping moment when Ian Otieno hesitated to clear the ball, allowing a Forest striker to pounce.

Fortunately for Zesco United, the striker failed to capitalize on the golden opportunity, leaving the crowd breathless.

In the end, the match concluded with a well-deserved equalizer for Zesco United in the 73rd minute, courtesy of Lazarous Kambole.

Last season's Ndola Derby witnessed intense showdowns between these two fierce rivals, including a goalless draw in the first leg at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

However, Zesco had the last laugh with a 1-0 victory in the return match at the Dola Hill Stadium. 

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