Zambia take early control of Group A
The Zambia U20 national soccer team took early control of group A when they shot to the summit of the group after they beat Guinea 1 – 0 while tournament favorites Mali were held to a goalless draw by Egypt in the other encounter on mach day one.
The Beston Chambeshi coached looked good on paper going forward with Russia based Fashion Sakala, Israel based Conlyde Luchanga and Patson Daka who plays in Austria all starting the game.
Luchanga was deployed in the number nine role and was being supported by eventual goal scorer and man of the match Daka played right behind him.
Sakala was deployed on the right while an effective Edward Chilufya played on the right.
While the defence anchored by skipper Solomon Sakala who partnered Moses Nyondo at the heart of defence looked stable, Zambiathe strikers were having challenges making any significant impact on the game.
Shemmy Mayembe in the right back position was providing Zambia’s outlet on the right but the final ball was still lacking.
Zambia’s best chance in the half fell to Enock Mwepu who headed just wide of the mark in the 21st minute and it was long before the visitors went on a good counter attack which saw Mangani exposed in a one on one encounter but a rished effort by Bangoura saved by as he shot over the bar.
Coach Beston Chambeshi did not hesitate to ring the changes as he pulled out Luchanga in the 43rd minute for Emmanuel Banda who did not waste time to change the complexion of the game.
The change saw Mwepu move into a more advanced position just behind Daka who was now playing as an out and out striker.
Once the game had restarted, Zambia looked a very different team with Banda pulling the strings in midfield.
Zambia created three chances in the opening three minutes after the restart first with Chilufya missing from close range before Patson also failed to make contact in the six yard box with the defense beaten.
In the 48th minute, a disguised pass from the Portugal based Banda found Daka on the edge of the box and his perfect turn into the box saw him beat the keeper with a neat finish.
Guinea responded almost immediately when a cross from the right found Momo Yansane in the box who made a fine contact with his head only for outstanding Mangani Banda to turn the ball around the corner at full stretch for a corner.
Zambia could have added to the tally but the match official disallowed what looked a clear goal in the 90th minute when Chilufya completed a swift counter attack.
In the latter game of the day, Mali could not break down a tactically disciplined Egyptian side despite being the better team on the day.
Egypt at times seemed to be chasing shadows as they were struggling to contend with some very skilful Malian attackers.
The results left Zambia on top of the group with three points while Mali and Egypt both have a point each.
Guinea is a the bottom with no point.
Zambia next play Mali on Wednesday while Egypt play Guinea.
Action continues on Tuesday in Ndola where Cameroon play South Africa while Senegal will play Sudan
Zambia XI v Guinea
Mangani Banda – Shemmy Mayembe, Moses Nyondo, Solomon Sakala, Prosper Chiluya – Boyd Musonda, Enock Mwepu – Fashion Sakala (Kenneth Kalunga), Patson Daka, Conlyde Luchanga (Emmanuel Banda), Edward Chilufya
Guinea XI v Zambia
Sekouba Camara, Salif Sylla, Mamadouba Diaby, Mohamed Camara, Daouda Camara, Momo Yansane, Ibrahima Sylla, Mohamed Aly Camara, Mamadou Kane (C), Alseny Souma, Naby Bangoura
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