U20 Afcon: Zambia massacre Mali to book World Cup ticket
A brace each from Fashion Sakala and Edward Chilufya and goals from Emmanuel Banda and Enock Mwepu saw Zambia come from behind to beat pre tournament favorites Mali 6 – 1 in a thrilling encouter that handed the hosts a ticket to the World Cup.
It was a great show of character by the Zambian lads who picked themselves up after they fell behind in the 6th minute via an Abdoul Dante goal who jumped the highest in the box to head home from a corner.
Zambia were back in attack immediately and two minutes later, hardworking Patson Daka saw his effort come off the crossbar after he shook off a challenge from his marker but the Austria based striker followed up the rebound to cross for Sakala who headed in the equalizer from close range.
Skilful Emmanuel Banda then gave Zambia the lead in the 25th minute when he volleyed the ball from about 25 yards with a beautiful shot that left the keeper no chance in what could stand as the goal of the tournament.
Mali were enjoying possession but they were not showing much for it and there best chance was turned round the upright by Mangani Banda in the Zambia goal.
Edward Chilufya then went on a run which saw him square the ball for Mwepu who got in front of the defender to finish with precision for Zambia’s third in the 38th minute.
It was the Chilufya’s turn to get on the score sheet and he completed his brace in the 50th and 54th minutes first with a header which was deflected on it way in then with an emphatic shot inside the box after he collected a deflected ball.
Man of the match Fashion Sakala continued to torment his marker on he left of attack and his run into the box saw him skin the defender as he turned inside the box to steady himself and curl the ball in he far right corner for Zambia’s 6th of the day.
Zambia will end the group stage as group winners despite still having a game to play as they have ammased an insurmountable six points.
This sees the hosts become the first team to confirm a spot in the semi finals and hey automatically qualify to he world cup in South Korea where they will be one of the four African representatives in May.
The young Chipolopolo play Egypt in the last game of he group stage at 1500hrs on Saturday at Heroes Stadium.
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