Zambia salvage some pride after Daka brace sinks already qualified Zimbabwe
2021 Africa Cup Qualifier: Zimbabwe 0 – 2 Zambia (Patson Daka 22′ 90′)
The Zambia national soccer team salvaged some pride after failing to qualify to the 2021 Cameroon Africa Cup finals by beating perennial rivals Zimbabwe 2 – 0 thanks to a brace by Patson Daka.
It was a dead-rubber match but with the humiliation of failing to pick one of the two available slots in the group at the expense of Zimbabwe, coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojević named a more attack minded starting XI.
He made five changes to the team that drew 3 – 3 with African Champions and among those on the casualty list was skipper of the side Kabaso Chongo who was joined by 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winner Nathan Sinkala, striker Augustine Mulenga, defender Luka Banda and South Africa based Ghampani Lungu.
At the start, Zimbabwe were looking the more threatening in the final third and Mwenya Chibwe in the Zambia goal had to be sharp to keep them out in the opening quarter of an hour.
However, Zambia was retaining possession better and probing more and their efforts paid off when Enock Mwepu guided a Benedict Chepeshi ball forward into the path of Daka who reacted superbly to get ahead of the defender and shoot past the keeper.
Zambia were the better side in the first half and they continued looking dangerous after the restart. The high press was causing Zimbabwe problems and the Chipolopolo created three good chances in the opening five minutes of the second half.
The best of them saw Daka and Clatous Chama combine to release Mwepu who went one on one with the keeper but he guided his shot wide despite the keeper having already dived the wrong way in the 49th minute.
Allan Chibwe who came in at half time for Mwenya Chibwe in goal was hardly trouble despite the frantic efforts by the Warriors to get an equalizers.
With the hosts pressing for an equalizer, the Austria based Redbull Salzburg duo combined again in injury time for the second goal when Mwepu found space on the right to square the ball for the red hot and highly sort after striker Daka who finished for his second at the back post.
This was Daka’s 5th goal in three games played in the qualifiers. He ends on top of the goal scorers charts for the qualifiers.
In the other group match, Algeria humiliated Botswana 5 – 0 as the African Champions maintained their unbeaten run in the qualifiers.
The result sees Algeria top group H with 14 points, Zimbabwe 8 points, Zambia end on 7 points while Botswana are rock bottom on 4 points after six rounds of matches.
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