‘Dream Team’ come from behind to storm 2nd round at FIFA World Cup
The Zambia U20 national soccer team has all but qualified to the round of 16 of the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup after coming from a 2 – 0 deficit to whack Iran 4 – 2.
It was a far much better performance by the Chipolopolo lads despite making defensive mistakes which saw them concede to goals on either side of the half, but recovered with goals from Fashion Sakala, Enock Mwepua, Emmanuel Banda, Patson Daka.
Beston Chambeshi named a line-up which surprisingly had Patson Daka on the bench with Conlyde Luchanga given the mandate to lead the attack.
Iran looked the better team in the opening exchanges and they benefited from a poor clearance by Mangani Banda in the Zambia goal for Shekari to beat his marker for and punish Zambia for the opener on 6 minutes.
Zambia pushed forward from then and were dominating play but the Asian team were defending in numbers with Zambia failing to even trouble the goalkeeper.
Zambia’s best chance came in injury time of the first half when Shemmy Mayembe roped in a sharp cross from the right which found Sakala.
The striker rose high and made firm contact with the ball but he was unlucky to see the ball come off the upright with the keeper beaten.
Beston Chambeshi introduced Patson Daka at half time for Luchanga and after the restart, the Iranians won a penalty with their first wave of attack when a late challenge on the box by Daka saw the referee point to the spot.
Shekari stepped up to score his second as he sent Mangani in the wrong direction in the 48th minute.
The recovery was started in the 53rd minute when a long ball from Solomon Sakala on the right found Fashion Sakala on the left inside the box who brought it down with one touch on his left foot and smashed it home with his right.
Five minutes letter it was Mwepu who picked his spot when the ball was laid off for him on the edge of the box.
In the 64th minute, Fashion skinned his marker on the left to cross the ball which was blocked by the keeper for Edward Chilufya to pounce on the rebound but his effort was also blocked.
Emmanuel Banda was on hand to smash home from close range to give Zambia the lead in the match.
Daka completed the come back in the 70th minute when he hit the target from outside the box to put the tie beyond the reach of Iran.
With 6 points in the bag, Zambia have qualified to the last eight of the tournament with a game to play.
They play Costa Rica in the final game of the group stage.
Mangani Banda, Moses Nyondo, Shadreck Mayembe, Prosper Chiluya, Solomon Sakala (C), Boyd Musonda, Conlyde Luchanga (Patson Daka), Fashion Sakala, Enock Mwepu, Emmanuel Banda, Edward Chilufya (Musonda Siame)
Mirzazdad, Shahsavari, Derakhanehr, Taheri,Soltani,Mehdikhani,Shekari, Jafari, Razzaghpour, Norafkhan, Aghasi
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