Monday, June 24, 2024

Zambia qualify to AFCON after demolition of Ivory Coast

The Zambia National Team has secured their place at the Ivory Coast 2023 Africa Cup of Nations following a 3-0 win over Côte D’Ivoire. 

A Serge Aurier own goal, and a goal each from Patson Daka and Klings Kangwa gave Zambia a well deserved win in front of a packed Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

Avram Grant made four changes to the team that beat Lesotho back in March. 

Stophila Sunzu returned to the Chipolopolo starting lineup for the first time in almost 4 years partnering Frankie Chisenga Musonda in central defence. 

Toaster Nsabata, Lameck Banda and Benedict Chepeshi dropped to the bench.

Kelvin Kapumbu, Lawrence Mulenga and Skipper Lubambo Musonda returned to the starting line up. 

Côte D’Ivoire were the better side in the opening few minutes but Zambia did well at the back to soak up the pressure and remain compact. 

 Half chances for Chipolopolo came far and wide. 

Zambia were however handed a break in the 32nd minute as Serge Aurier put the ball behind his own net with pressure from Patson Daka following a pass from Emmanuel Banda, 1-0. 

Zambia now started to look lively and went to the break with a much needed 1-0 lead. 

The hosts came from the break with a different mindset as they took the lead just three minutes into the second stanza. 

Patson Daka put pressure on Eric Bailey after chasing a brilliant Klings Kangwa pass and after a defensive mixup, the Leicester City forward scored to double the lead. 

Zambia nearly had a third two minutes later after a brilliant counter attack but the clutter of Chipolopolo forwards got in each other’s way. 

The goal would however come five minutes later as Klings Kangwa finished off from close range after a beautiful counter attack from the left wing, Patson Daka, and Fashion Sakala Jnr involved in the build up. 

Ivory Coast made changes to try and freshen things up by introducing Max Gradel,Karim Konate and Jean Evrad Kouassi. 

The 2012 losing finalists looked a better side after the changes but Zambia was determined to keep a clean sheet.

Fashion Sakala Jnr had a chance to add to the tally but failed to utilise it in the end an heavy touch letting him down. 

Côte D’Ivoire came closest to a goal in the dying minutes with a Max Gradel free kick but Mulenga tipped the ball away as Zambia held on to win the match.

The win means Zambia move to the top of Group H with 12 points and seal their slot at the 2023 Ivory Coast Africa Cup of Nations. 

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Zambia will have a formality match away in Comoros to decide who finishes top of group H. 

Patson Daka has moved to four goals in this qualification campaign and only Victor Osihmen of Nigeria and Senegal’s Sadio Mane (5) have scored more.


Full -Time 

Zambia 3-0 Côte D’Ivoire

(Serge Aurier og 32′, Patson Daka 48′, Klings Kangwa 55′)

Chipolopolo Starting XI Côte D’Ivoire: 16. Lawrence Mulenga🧤, 4. Frankie Chisenga Musonda, 6. Tandi Mwape, 8. Lubambo Musonda ©,  10. Fashion Sakala Jnr (Lameck Banda 88′), 12. Emmanuel Banda, 13. Stophila Sunzu, 15. Kelvin Kapumbu, 20. Patson Daka, 22. Klings Kangwa (Rally Bwalya 90+3′), 23. Rodrick Kabwe 

Unused Substitutes : 1. Victor Chabu 🧤, 2. Pride Mwansa, 3. Benedict Chepeshi, 5. Golden Mafwenta, 7. Kelvin Mubanga Kampamba, 14. Patson Kwataime, 17. Clatous Chota Chama, 19. Francisco Mwepu, 21. Dominic Chanda, 24. Gift Mphande.

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  1. At reast…qualification at rast. Zambia needs the art of keeping the ball passing either front or backwards, let the other team chase it and someone tell the coach to recall Rainford Kalaba. He has immense experience playing for TP Mazembe where he’s a Legend.

  2. Looking at the stadium full to capacity, FAZ should know that we love the game and it’s a big uniting factor and should do the right things to ensure positive results are sustained. Zambians love football and are always behind the team. I hope Grant is allowed access to Mumamba coached team to provide tactical support because against Kuwait it was embarrassing.

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