Zambia see off stubborn Botswana to progress in CHAN qualifiers
The Zambia national soccer team twice came from behind to beat visiting Botswana 3 – 2 in a nerve-wracking 2020 African Nations Championship second leg qualifier played at Heroes Stadium.
The hard-fought win sealed Zambia’s qualification to the final round of the qualifiers thanks to goals scored by Emmanuel Chabula, Kelvin Mubanga Kampamba and substitute Bruce Musakanya.
Zambia came into the match needing an outright win to qualify to the next round having settled for a goalless in the first leg away in Francis Town.
Coach Aggrey Chiyangi made two changes to the team that started the goalless draw. Larry Bwalya started in the place of the injured Jack Chirwa to partner fellow Power Dynamos midfielder, Benson Sakala. Nkwazi forward Emmanuel Chabula was handed a starting berth with Chitiya Mususu dropping to the bench.
Botswana started the match full of confidence with Mothusi Cooper continuing were left off last weekend with his beautiful link-up play. The Zebras drew first blood through Omatlaa Kebatho in the 13th minute to put Botswana in the lead.
The lead was however short-lived as Emmanuel Chabula leveled matters five minutes later. Zambia looked a bit more organized than in the first leg with Larry Bwalya, Kelvin Mubanga and Chabula linking up well in looking to open up the Zebras defense.
Segolane Boy put the Zebras back in the lead in the 23rd minute following a mixup between Sebastian Mwange and Simon Silwimba. With only seconds to go to half time, Kelvin Mubanga produced a beautiful moment with a well-taken free-kick to make sure the two teams went to the break level.
In the second stanza, Botswana came back with the same intent and was creating chances looking to unlock the Zambia defense. Coach Aggrey Chiyangi made his first substitution in the 66th minute withdrawing Enerst Mbewe and introducing Red Arrows captain Bruce Musakanya.
Musakanya only took four minutes on the field to make his impact as he slotted home from close range after benefiting from a Kelvin Mubanga deflected the shot.
Mwange produced some brilliant saves in the dying minutes to deny the Zebras as the Copper Bullets survived a nerve ending to the match to win 3-2 on aggregate and progress to the final round of qualification.
Zambia will face either Angola or Eswatini in the final round of qualification for a place at next years CHAN tournament.
Zambia 3-2 Botswana
(E. Chabula 15′ K. Mubanga 45+2′, B.Musakanya 70’|Omatlaa Kebatho 13′, Segolane Boy 23′)
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