Kenyan International Jesse Were was on the mark for Zambian Super League (ZSL) champions Zesco United as they kicked off their 2018 title defense with a 3-1 win over Ndola rivals Buildcon FC. Were, coming off the bench for 2015 ZSL top scorer Winston Kalengo, sent Zesco into the lead before occasioning a penalty that would make it three.
Featuring in this Ndola derby were fellow Kenyans John Mark Makwatta for Buildcon and David Odhiambo on Were's side but it would be the host of the day Makwatta to taste the lead. A fine delivery by Makwatta from a corner kick in the 37th minute landed perfectly on the head of Rahim Osuman's head for a 1-0 lead by the break.
Adams Zikiru however, having come on in the first half for an ineffective Enock Sabumukama drew Zesco back level with e decent one off his head but it wiuld be Jesse to send Zesco into the lead for the very first time in the game. A darting run towards the Buildcon defense saw Were nutmeg former teammate Ben Adam Bhan before powering in Zesco's second past Zimbabwean keeper Tatenda Mkuruva.
The third goal- a penalty from Lazarous Kambole would come in the dying minutes of the game when a Jesse Were attempted cutback was illegally blocked by former FC Platinum anchorman Nqobizitha Masuku.
The clash was Zesco's first of the season but Buldcon's second- the latter having lost all of their ties after also falling 1-0 to National Assembly in week 1. Zesco are 9th on the 20-team ZSL log while Makwatta's side wallow deep in 19th.