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CHINOYI CHIPULU
Napsa Stars have qualified to the CAF Confederation Cup Group Stage after beating Kenyan side Goh Mahia 3-2 on aggregate.

On Sunday Napsa drew 2-all with the Kenyans at National Heroes to make history.

Debutants Napsa won the First Leg 1-0 Kenya a week ago at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi and were on the verge of elimination before former international Emmanuel Mayuka converted a penalty at death to second them through to the lucrative group stage.

Napsa coach Mohamed Fathi said their passage to the Group Stage has not been easy competition as his charges had to negotiate past experienced campaigners.

“It’s not easy to make history, for the first time the club has qualified for continental. Mahia has got experienced players, every year this team plays in continental,” he said.

Fathi said the team fought up to the end and will have this spirit in their future games.

Samuel Onyango put Mahia ahead in the 17th  minute and just a minute after, pensioner’s equalized through Austin Banda.

Mahia reestablished their lead through Clifford Ayisi on 20 minutes but Mayuka made no mistake from the penalty spot in the added time.

Napsa are competing in the competition for the first time and Fathi is delighted history has been made.

“This is history for Zambia and we will try our best as a club to perform well. We will be positive. The boys did a great job,” he said.

Mahia coach Manuel Vaz Pinto said his charges played well despite the loss.

“Last minutes of the game my player was kicked, if the referee was fair he would have awarded the Napsa player a red card not yellow,” he said.

Pinto said arriving late for the game did not affect the players because they are better in the game.

“We played well and we deserved to qualify. We worked hard and it’s not fair,” he said.

He said that Napsa has good players but they don’t deserve to qualify Mahia is a better team.

“I understand my players, they are frustrated because of what happened at the last minute,” he said.

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