Cosafa Cup: Chipolopolo gun down Botswana Zebras to reach semi-finals
A new look Zambia national soccer team has qualified to the semi finals of the regional Cosafa Cup tournament after they beat Botswana 2 – 1 in an exciting match played in South Africa.
Brian Mwila continued his fine form in front of goal as he handed Wedson Nyirenda’s side the lead in the 11th minute while his strike partner Justin Shonga also scored.
Allan Chibwe was brilliant in goal saving a penalty but was beaten by Ssakaeng’s deflected shot late in the match.
Zambia looked purposeful going forward and could have gone up as early as the 8th minute when the keeper spilled Mwila’s header only for the defender to clear the ball off the line.
Seconds later, Shonga found space in the six yard boxbut he shot off target with only the goalkeeper to beat from close range.
Left back Lawrence Chungu then floated a long ball from his position whose flight the Tswana defender misjudged for Mwila to perfectly control on the turn and slot home with a low curled shot in the 11th minute.
Botswana were enjoying a lot of play in the middle of the pack, but the Chipolopolo were looking dangerous going forward with Diamond Chikwekwe on the right side of attack combining well with skipper of the side Donashano Malama who was overlapping with purpose.
Zambia could have made it two in the 20th minute when a short corner resulted in a Malama cross that found Shonga’s head but he failed to make a firm contact with the ball for him to head wide.
As the half wore on, Botswana’s good play was beginning to pay and they should have leveled in the 36th minute when a header in the box beat Chibwe only for Malama to clear te ball off the line.
A moment later Botswana shot wide from within the box thanks to Malama who put pressure on the striker.
Man of the match Shonga who was combining well with Mwila then added a second in he 70th minute when he ran on to a ball in the box, steadied himself and shot across goal only for his shot to deflect into the net.
Botswana were then awarded a penalty but it only gave Chibwe in the Zambia goal to cap his fine performance with a penalty save.
He however did not have a chance when Seakanyeng”s shot was deflected for Botswana’s face saver in the 79th minute.
Botswana tried to press for the equalizer but it was too little too late.
Zambia await the winner between defending champions South Africa and Tanzania for a semi final match on Wednesday.
Zambia XI v Botswana
Allan Chibwe – Donashano Malama, Isaac Shamujompa, Webster Mulenga, Lawrence Chungu, Jack Chirwa, Diamond Chikwekwe (Godfrey Ngwenya), Mike Katiba, Justin Shonga (Solomon Sakala), Brian Mwila, Mwansa Nsofwa (Lubinda Mundia)
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