ZAMBIA last Thursday came from behind to beat the Zebras of Botswana 2-1 in the back to back 2021 Cameroon Africa Cup of Nations (AfCON) qualifier. The match was played at National Heroes Stadium in a waterlogged condition owing to a heavy downpour.
The match was a must-win for Zambia to revive their chances of qualifying for 2021 AfCON football tournament. Zambiaa is in Group H with Algeria, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.
However, Zambia suffered a setback when Botswana scored first through Kobamelo Kebaikanye just before half time. Enock Mwepu who plies his trade at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria restored parity for Zambia in the first stanza of the game. The first half ended 1-1.
The match was tough as both teams looked determined. It took the foreign-based prolific striker Fashion Sakala who came in as a substitute for Justin Shonga. Fashion was so “fashionable” that he created the winning goal by making a brilliant pass to Collins Sikombe and the latter hit the back of the net, making it 2-1 for Zambia.
Zambia was wasteful at goal despite creating a myriad of scoring opportunities. The other result for Group H saw Algeria, the Africa Cup defending champions beating Zimbabwe 3-1 at the former’s home ground.
Algeria is still commanding leadership in Group H with 9 points, Zimbabwe is in second position with 4 points, Zambia is in third position with 3 points and Botswana is now bottom-placed with one point.
Going by the current complexion of the table in Group H, Zambia have revived their chances of qualifying for the 2021 AfCON football tournament. The Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic coached side should not be complacent in the remaining matches but should work extremely hard to record positive results.
The Chipolopolo Boys coach has the mammoth task of correcting the mistakes spotted in the match against Botswana. Zambia should beat Botswana at the latter’s backyard in a return match slated for tomorrow.
The victory for Zambia has elated the soccer fans and President Edgar Lungu.
I congratulate Zambia for beating Botswana and ultimately reviving their chances of qualifying for 2021 AfCON football tournament.