Beaten and out! Zambia’s Olympic dream ends with loss to Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast 1-0 Zambia (K. Dabila 61′)
The Zambia U23 national team crashed out of the on-going CAF U23 Africa Cup of Nations after losing 1 – 0 to Ivory Coast, a result that ends the young Chipolopolo’s quest for a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It was an underwhelming performance by the Beston Chambeshi coached side as they failed to trouble the Ivorians enough despite finding themselves in good positions in the final third.
After the loss to Nigeria, Chambeshi rang the changes bringing in Bradley Mweene, Harrison Chisala and Field Nkandela at the expense of Mangani Banda, Biston Banda and Emmanuel Banda.
It was punch for punch in the first half as both teams searched for a win though Zambia looked like they wanted it more with Lameck Banda on the right wing giving the Ivorians a lot of problems.
But Zambia’s defensive frailties continued to show and were lucky not to concede thanks to a some brilliant work in goal by Mweene.
The West Africans started the second half stronger and were pinning Zambia in their own half. The young Chipolopolo were however looking dangerous on the counter attack but were wasteful with the final pass, Lameck Banda being one of the culprits.
The pressure on the Zambian defense paid off for Ivory Coast when they took a short corner and launched a cross in the box that saw Kouadio Dabila rise high to head past Mweene.
Despite throwing everything at their opponents, it was a lacklustre display by Zambia as they failed to register a shot on target the whole second half.
Ivory Coast progress to the last four as group winners together with South Africa who were held to a 0 – 0 draw by Nigeria.
South Africa play hosts Egypt while Ivory Coast will play Ghana.
Zambia U23 XI
Bradley Mweene- Prosper Chiluya, Shemmy Mayembe, Moses Nyondo, Solomon Sakala- Field Kandela (Kings Kangwa), Ngosa Sunzu, Enock Mwepu- Harrison Chisala (Emmanuel Banda), Lameck Banda, Patson Daka.
Ivory Coast XI
16. Ira Tape, 3. Kouadio Dabila, 6. Zie Quattara 7. Cheick Timite, 8. Hamed Traore 9. Youssouf Dao, 14. Aboubakar Keita, 15. Silas Gnaka, 17. Ismael Diallo, 19. Baba Traore, 20. Ibrahim Sangare
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