Road to 2020 Olympics: Zambia edge Malawi to reach final round of AFCON U23 qualifiers
The Zambia U23 Men’s National Team has qualified to the penultimate round of the Egypt 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations with a 2 – 0 aggregate scoreline after beating Malawi 1 – 0 in the second leg played at the National Heroes Stadium.
Fashion Sakala followed up his goal against the same opponents on Wednesday last week to score the only goal of the game to complete a double of the Eastern neighbors.
Coach Bestone Chambeshi made one change to the team that won the away game, bringing in France based Emmanuel Banda for Kingsley Kangwa in midfield.
It was the visitors who settled first and they seemed to be on the front foot in the first five minutes. They had a chance in the 3rd minute which went begging as a free header from a corner went off target.
Zambia got in the game after 5 minutes and they gave the visitors no chance to breath after that as it was attack after attack.
Patson Daka and Fashion Sakala were linking up well in the final third but the two were equally being wasteful in front of goal together with Harrison Chisala. In the 28th minute, Emmanuel Banda played Sakala into space on the right and he whipped in a good low cross to find Daka at the far post, but the Redbull Salzburg strikera failed to sort out his legs in time for what could have been an easy tap in.
Next it was Fashion who missed a glaring chance in the 36th minute when he was found by Banda in the box. He turned in the box with a good touch but with only the goalkeeper to beat, he blasted his shot over the bar from near the penalty spot.
Fashion made amends in the 40th minute when he got on the end of a Mwepu fine pass to score past an on-rushing Brighton Munthali in the Malawi goal.
In the second half, there was little change in play as Zambia continued attacking while Malawi were looking to play on the counter attack without much success. Zambia on the other hand were looking the more likely to score especially with Austria based Enock Mwepu now taking charge of proceedings in midfield.
Mwepu was twice denied by Munthali from close range after he was played through by Daka in the 54th and 77th minutes. The brilliant goalkeeper helped to keep the scoreline respectable after saved well from Fashion and Daka whose well taken hard shot in the 88th minute was tipped round the post for a corner.
Zambia will now await the winner between Congo Brazaville and Burundi who played to a goalless draw in the first leg.
The Young Chipolopolo will be home in the first leg on Wednesday 5th June before playing away on Sunday 9th June.
Zambia U23 XI v Malawi
Mangani Banda – Shemmy Mayembe, Solomon Sakala (c), Moses Nyondo, Kamanga; Boyd Musonda (Lameck Banda), Emmanuel Banda, Enoch Mwepu; Harison Chisala (Kingsly Kangwa), Patson Daka (Prince Mumba), Fashion Sakala
Malawi U23 XI
Brighton Munthali – Chimwemwe Idana, Hadji Nali, Trevor Kalema, Denis Chembezi, Precious Sambani, Levison Maganizo, Mike Mkwate, Isaac Kaliati, Gregory Nachipo (Batson Chikaiko), Hassan Kajoke
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