Player Ratings: Zambia 3 – 2 Botswana (CHAN)
The Zambia national soccer team progressed to the final round of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) with a hard-fought 3 – 2 victory of Botswana. The Chipolopolo had to twice come from behind before taking the lead to win in a nervy finish.
The ZamFoot Crew now takes a look at how the players performed.
Sebastian Mwange 7 – He could have done better with the second goal despite not receiving much cover from the defenders. He redeemed himself in the second half making four great saves including a brilliant point blank reflex save that kept Zambia in the race to the finals. The 2019 COSAFA winner and Green Eagles shot stopper had a good ball distribution.
Simon Silwimba 6.0 – Had an average game in the first half but with the coming on of Bruce Musakanya on the wing, he rose to prominence and showed dominance on the wing. Accounted for himself well when defending and offered the extra push when attacking.
Clement Mwape 5.5 – The Zesco United centre back was caught ball watching on a number of occasions. He offered little to no support when attacking but one wonders why he failed to account for himself on the defence.
Mwila Phiri 6.0 – Was the most steady in the Zambian backline making timely clearances. He was below par by his own standards failing to whip in his trademark crosses.
Adrian Chama 4.0 – The Skipper! He lost ground and aerial balls. He was cautioned for a handball after failing to make an aerial clearance. He struggled to contend with huge Twsana attackers late in the game and had to give up his position for Shamujopa as Zambia sucked in the pressure in the dying minutes.
Benson Sakala 6.5 – He did the dirty work and was all over the pitch. Playing alone at the base, he struggled to screen the back four and every time he was pulled off position, Zambia looked vulnerable. He had a great chance in the box to equalize for Zambia in the first half but fluffed his shot as expected.
Ernest Mbewe 4.0 – He saw little of the ball and seemed disjointed from the team. Made a few typical runs in the first half and effectively dropped to help out in defense.
Larry Bwalya 6.5 -Started ahead of a talented pool of midfielders and had an avaerage game. Held on to the ball a little too long and pushed a little rather too further for a midfielder leaving space for the opposing midfielders.
Kelvin Kampamba 8.0 – The ZamFoot man of the match. He scored from a set piece with the last kick of the first half to give Zambia the impetus to push forward. His deflected effort fail kindly for Bruce for Zambia’s winner. He took on opponents and dazzled the fans with excellent footwork.
Tapson Kaseba 5.5 – Bullied the Botswana defense but failed to take chances in the final third. Tactically seemed to be the leader of the striking force but his positioning with his twin striker compelled him to hold-up as the false number nine resulting in him having little at the goal.
Emmanuel Chabula 7.0 – Found the back of the net with a strong run to win the ball from a position he had no right to. He setup other players when he had the chance but was also wasteful on a day ZambiaBalloned one over the bar and when it was easier to score he missed the goal. Great game for the lad and one to look out for going forward.
Bruce Musakanya 7.0 – Came on the wing for Ernest Mbewe. He caused trouble for the Botswana left full back and calmly wired one behind the net. With the midfield looking disjointed, one expected Bruce to be positioned in the midfield but what a way to announce your self as the winger you never thought I was.
Twiza Chaibela (Unrated) – Came on for Emmanuel Chabula. Made some good runs to keep the Botswana defense busy
Isaac Shimujopa (unrated) – Was introduced at a time Zambia were desperatley defending and he slotted in to the central defense position pushing Adrian Chama a little further up.
Aggrey Chiyangi 5.5
He prefers to play with the handbrake on, playing to defensive midfielders. Today he opened it up and his fears came to life as Zambia was leaking goals despite looking good on the ball. His team created a myriad of chances but their profligacy made the game difficulty. The starting of Larry whose style of play offers little when attacking meant that besides the creativity, there was little support for both attack and defense from the midfield. Mbewe did very little to offer the width, but he kept him on the pitch, yet Musakanya showed him what he was missing when he came on by exploiting the wing which eventually paid off.
Once Zambia had taken the lead, Botswana had nothing to lose and they threw everything at Zambia pushing four strikers into the box and pumping balls into the final third. Chiyangi was slow to respond and instead of throwing an extra body in midfield, he brought in Twiza Chaibela in attack for Chabula. At this stage, Zambia was hanging on, thanks to the saves Mwange was pulling off and poor finishing by the visitors. He eventually brought in Shamujopa to close the game at a late stage.
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