Friday, June 21, 2024

Zambia score late to defeat Comoros and get AFCON qualification campaign on track

Zambia showed character to earn a come-back 2-1 win over Comoros in their second group game of the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers played at Lusaka’s National Heroes Stadium this evening.

A superb free-kick scored by midfielder Klings Kangwa in the 88th minute was enough to see the Chipolopolo Boys claim all 3 points and ensure that the hosts end match-day 2 of the AFCON qualifiers group stage level on points with Comoros.

The victory was Zambia’s first competitive win under Croatian trainer Aljoša Asanović, putting behind the 3-1 defeat suffered to Cote d’Ivoire in the opening qualifying fixture.

Despite starting the brightest, Zambia fell behind to an early goal scored in the 13th minute by Comoros’ El Fardou Ben Mohammed following an apparent lapse in communication between Zambia’s goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata and defender Tandi Mwape.

Shaken by the early goal, Zambia threatened with striker Fashion Sakala forcing Ali Ahamada in the Comoros goal into saves with two attempts.

Ahamada stretched to his fullest length to make a wonderful fingertip save to deny Sakala in the 20th minute.

Fashion Sakala of Glasgow Rangers tries to get past opposition defender, Kassim M’Dahoma. Photo credit: FAZ Media

Nine minutes later, Edward Chilufya, who had a lively first half, saw his stinging shot kept away by Ali for a Zambia corner.

Zambia continued to attack and came close to levelling the scoreline two minutes from the break but Lubambo Musonda saw his left footed shot from distance strike the woodwork.

The Copper bullets finally got the equaliser on the stroke of halftime when captain Enock Mwepu scored a delightful goal after controlling the ball with his chest following a rebound from a corner.

Shortly after the restart, Zambia nearly scored from a corner kick with the Comoros keeper saving the initial header as well as denying Frankie Musonda a home debut goal from the rebound.

Zambia’s vulnerability in defence continued to show with The Coelancanthes nearly scoring again in the 57th minute after Kassim M’Dahoma’s attempt was tipped over the crossbar by Nsabata.

Matters worsened soon after as the Chipolopolo Boys lost experienced left wing-back Rodrick Kabwe to injury forcing the technical bench into visible panic.

In the 64th minute, Patson Daka nearly scored the winner when he beat off his maker before seeing his low strike at the keeper’s near post pushed away for a corner.

With the winner seemingly eluding the Copper bullets, substitute Kings Kangwa got the match winner two minutes from time to save the day for the Chipolopolo with a stunning free-kick from the edge of the box which beat unmoved Ahamada to the rapture of the home crowd!

Job done, sigh of relief for the Chipolopolo Boys at the final whistle! Photo credit: FAZ Media

Following the win, Zambia joined Cote d’Ivoire and Comoros on three points on the group standings. Cote d’Ivoire will take on Lesotho in their second group fixture.

Zambia tackle Lesotho in back-to-back fixtures in the next round of Group H matches in September.

Zambia starting XI

Toaster Nsabata, Frankie Musonda, Tandi Mwape, Lubambo Musonda, Fashion Sakala jnr, Enock Mwepu (c) Emmanuel Banda (Klings Kangwa 61’), Roderick Kabwe (Lameck Banda 57’), Edward Chilufya (Kelvin Mubanga Kampamba 79’) Patson Daka, Shemmy Mayembe

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11 Comments

  1. We are lacking succession planning in football administration. We need to blend old players with this new generation. Look at ivory coast it had old players who played in 2012 and that is why they did better than us. We really need to improve the performance by blending experienced payers and the new generation if we want to win in Comoros. Remember we won in Algeria when Wada was cough because we blended old players with this new generation. We need experience as well to improve

    • Which old players should the coach blend with the new generation? Sunzu, Kalaba, Simfukwe, Katongo, Isaac Chansa, Hichani, Shonga, Mwila, Mweene, Mbesuma, J Mulenga, Mbola,Muzo, Chamanga, Felix Katongo!!!! add some more if you can…..in which positions!

  2. Against Comoros, one of the major problems was inaccurate passing of the ball. There were too many incomplete passes. Hopefully the playerscan work on that. Secondly, the midfield pattnership was a little bit lop sided for some reason. It seemed to have worked better after the introduction of Klings Kangwa. In my view he seems to have more intelligent feet that creates space and takes pressure off Enock. Maybe the coach can try playing them together from the start. Lubambo can also be allowed to go forward a bit more than is currently happening. Our right back was a bit porous but it got sorted as the game went along

    • Teams which participated in the last Afcon tournament…..early this year….are playing good coordinated football, and, factually, the teams are well prepared for Afcon2013! Countriess such as Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, DRC, Botswana, Mozambique and the “East African” grouping will find it hard going and most of them may not qualify. A good case in point are the results they have returned in the games played so far.

  3. I am hopeful that we can easy win the rest of the games. Our players just need to play more games together to develop telepathy.
    Its good that the next game is also at home.
    If Ivory Coast can best Lesotho away, then they will have very little spirit coming to meet Zambia at any of our home grounds.
    Once we get the next 3 points in the nezt game then destiny is in our hands.

  4. This is the problem with social media journalism, it’s not Klings Kangwa but Kelvin Mubanga Kampamba mwebantu. Learn to report truthfully. If you have phobia for truth, stop doing social comments.

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