Zambia edge Malawi in international friendly
The Zambia national team eased past Eastern neighbors Malawi with a comfortable 2 – 0 in an international friendly played at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
First half goals from Chris Munthali and Kondwani Mtonga were enough to give Zambia the second win in two games since the disastrous outing at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Coach Honour Janza rang a few surprises with his starting eleven when he named three strikers with U17 international and captain Patson Daka given to lead the line.
However it was the visitors who started with zest when they broke in the second minute to give themselves a clear chance on goal only for Danny Munyao to come up with a fantastic save off his line.
Once Zambia had settled in their stride, the Chipolopolo enjoyed lots of possession with Malawi reduced to playing long balls to their fast strikers who were a handful to the Zambian defence.
Zambia had the first site of goal after 10 minutes but Jimmy Ndhlovu’s effort was over the bar. There after it was chance after chance for Zambia with Munthali’s effort from a set piece parried over the bar then Justine Zulu’s bicycle kick in the box from the resultant corner going over the bar.
Young Patson Daka who had a fair debut showed his predatory instincts in the 18th minute when he intercepted a back pass to go round the goalie Harawa but his shot came off the upright for a goal kick.
Daka was a culprit again when his shot from the penalty spot went over the bar after he volleyed a loose ball which landed kindly for him 4 minutes later.
In the 29th minute, Jimmy Ndhlovu also wasted a golden opportunity which had the crowd calling for his substitution when an excellent cross from Fackson Kampumbu who was outstanding at left back found him in the 6 yard box but he failed to guide the ball into the net.
Zambia showed that they could vary their attack when Jackson Mwanza who was one of the best players on the pitch took off from deep in his own half on a counter attack with Ndhlovu in support and the two interchanged passes leaving Mwanza with only the keeper to beat and he also shot wide in the 31st minute.
Zambia finally made the break through 2 minutes later when a corner from the left ricocheted off some bodies in the 6 yard box only for the ball to land kindly for Munthali who had an easy tap-in at the back post.
Zambia extend the lead through Kondwani Mtonga in the 39th minute when he headed home a Kabaso Chongo well curled free kicked for Zambia to go in the break with a comfortable lead.
On the restart, Zambia continued from where they ended the first half and they had two quick chances through Daka and Ndhlovu before Janza rang the changes.
First it was Ndlovu giving way for debutant Mwape Musonda, then Allan Mukuka replacing Mwanza.
Mukuka failed to inspire the team to the heights he did against Rwanda when he came off the bench to make an assist and score one while Musonda showed what a good player he could be with some close ball control and an eye for his strike partner though he did not get a shot on goal the entire time he was on the pitch.
The Chipolopolo vice captain Nathan Sinkala was given a chance to play his first game since his injury at the Africa Cup of Nations when he replaced an impressive Justine Zulu who was massive in midfield and in assisting the attack with his late runs in the 60th minute.
Sinkala as expected was very rusty conceding four free kicks in the first 10 minutes he was on the pitch and earning himself a yellow card.
Joseph Zimba was a also given a run when he replaced Kampumbu.
Zambia saw out the game on a low key with injury time substitute appearances for Jacob Banda who replaced Munyao in goal and Aaron Katebe who replaced Bronson Chama.
Zambia XI v Malawi
D Munyao (J Banda) – Kabaso Chongo (Joseph Zimba), Fackson Kapumbu, Chris Munthali, Bronson Chama (Aaron Katebe) – Kondwani Mtonga, Justine Zulu (Nathan Sinkala), Rainford Kalaba, Jackson Mwanza (Allan Mukuka) – Patson Daka, Jimmy Ndhlovu (Mwape Musonda)
Zambia v Malawi XI
Harawa – 2. Fisher Kondowe, 3 Mulimbika, 4. Lucky Malata, 5. John Lanjesi 7. Mhine 8. Malumbo Gondwe 9. Peter Wadabwa 13. Chikoti Chirwa 15. Bashir 11. Muhammad
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