Ten man Zambia put up vintage performance to break Algeria jinx
A ten man Zambia national team has beaten Algeria 3 – 1 in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier to go second in the group.
It was Zambia’s first victory over their North Africans rivals since 1982 and their third in thirteen meetings.
Platium Stars forward Brian Mwila bagged a first half brace, scoring his eighth goal in Chipolopolo colours since making his debut in the goalless draw with Gabon in May while Enock Mwepu scored the third – his first for the senior national team – after replacing Chiasamba Lungu in the second half. It was FC Porto forward Yacine Brahimi who pulled a goal back for the visitors.
Zambia got their momentum going from the start with the first chance falling to Mwila who saw his header come off the upright in the 4th minute following a corner delivered by Chisamba Lungu. The breakthrough came in the 7th minute, Mwila well placed to head home from a cross by Augustine Mulenga.
It was Mulenga again who did the hard work in the lead up to the second goal, breaking on the left flank before cutting back for Fashion Sakala whose effort on target was spilled by Rais Mbholi and the loose ball tucked away by Mwila on 33 minutes for the hosts to take a deserved 2-0 at the break.
Algeria were more of a threat in the second half and they almost levelled matters immediately after the restart, Hillal Soudani’s squared pass missed by Sofianne Hanni but they were rewarded ten minutes later when second half substitute Youcef Attal found a pass to Brahimi who fired home from outside the box.
Despite their numerical disadvantage there was still enough for the hosts to make sure of the points with Mwepu scoring two minutes from time.
The victory took Wedson Nyirenda’s side to second position with 4 points, five behind leaders Nigeria who thrashed Cameroon 4-0 in Uyo on Friday. Algeria still crop the Group with a single point.
Zambia and Algeria meet again on Tuesday in the reverse fixture while Nigeria play Cameroon on Monday.
16. Kennedy Mweene, Simon Silwimba 6., Fackson Kapumbu 20, Ziyo Tembo 19., Stoppilla Sunzu 13., Kondwani Mtonga 23., Augustine Mulenga 17 (Rodrick Kabwe), Chisamba Lungu 11(Enock Mwepu), Brian Mwila 22 (Alex Ngonga), Patson Daka 3., Fashion Sakala (Red)
23-Rais Mbolhi,2-Aissa Mandi,3-Faouzi Ghoulam,5-IltasHassani, 8-Sliti Tadier,9-HanniSofiane,10-Nabil Bentleb, 11-Yacine Brahimi,15-Hilal El Arabi Soudani,21- Bensebaini Rami
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