U20 AFCON: Lameck Banda late goal hands Zambia win over Burundi
A late goal from Lameck Banda helped U20 African Champions Zambia pick a vital win against a stubborn Rwanda side in the penultimate round of the Niger 2019 U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Burundi had they game-plan laid out from the start as they stuck in to their defensive positions and let Zambia play while they counter attacked swiftly with coordinated build ups only lacking the finishing touch leaving Prince Bwalya in the Zambia goal untroubled for most of the 90 minutes.
Zambia playing a 4 3 3 formation were pouring forward and it was Israel based Kings Kangwa who was looking to make things happen from the whole with his trickery and composure. He was unlucky to see he shot across the face of goal just miss the upright in the 21st minute before he was denied only by the acrobatics from the Burundi goalkeeper 5 minutes later when his shot was tipped over for a corner.
Zambia upped their attacked after in the second half but they were missing chance after chance with Nchanga Rangers’ Martin Njobvu the biggest culprit as he missed three chances within 10 minutes of the restart.
Coach Charles Bwale substituted Njobvu in the 70th minute for Victor Mubanga but even he did not help matters as he failed to head home in the box after he was given a good pass in the 6 yard box by Kangwa who having a man of the match performance.
Banda was having a better game in the second half tearing down the right flank at will and once he decided to cut in instead of going to the by-line, the Zesco United winger unleashed an unstoppable belter from outside the corner which left the Burundi keeper with no chance in the 86th minute.
He unfortunately took off his shirt when celebrating the goal which had eluded Zambia to earn a second yellow and receive matching orders from the referee.
As if to indicate how thin his bench is, Bwale withdrew substitute Victor Mubanga for holding midfielder Thomas Zulu to help Zambia see out the final minutes of the game.
The two teams meet again in Ngozi – Rwanda on Saturday next week in the final leg with the winner of the two legs qualifying to the finals that will be played in Niger.
Zambia U20 V Burundi XI
1.Prince Bwalya GK (C), 2.Kasonde Mulenga, 3.Benson Kolala, 4.Christopher Katongo, 5.Kingsley Hakwiya, 6.Oliver Lumbiya, 7.Martin Njobvu (Victor Mubanga) (Thomas Zulu), 8.Chanda Mukuka, 9.Francisco Mwepu, 10.Lameck Banda, 11.Kings Kangwa
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