By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THE Zambia national soccer team has continued to underperform and produced another disappointing result after giving up a 2-1 lead to draw 2-2 with Benin in last night’s international friendly match at Stade de Lamittier.
Chipolopolo coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic had made three changes to the side that lost to Senegal on Saturday night as Polokwane City goalkeeper Cyril Mwenya Chibwe was given the nod ahead of Kabwe Warriors’ Lameck Siame.
Former under-20 captain Prince Mumba also started his first game for the senior team while Power Dynamos midfielder Spencer Sautu started ahead of Klings Kangwa.
The Chipolopolo who had to come from behind to secure a 2-1 lead before half time showed no improvement from the first friendly match which saw them lose 3-1 to Senegal on Saturday.
Drilled by Serbian coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic, Zambia began the match in Cotonou on a shaky note and were trailing 1-0 in the 12th minute through midfielder Cebio Soukou who scored the Squirrels of Benin opener.
Soukou took advantage of Chipolopolo’s clumsy defending by scoring a sublime shot from outside the eight-yard box leaving the Chipolopolo players in shock.
Polokwane midfielder Salulani Phiri levelled matters with a superb goal after benefitting from Rodger Kola’s back pass inside the 18-yard box.
With strikers not performing to expectations, defender Tandi Mwape put Zambia ahead with another great goal in the dying minutes of the first stanza which ended 2-1 in favour of the visitors.
In the second half, Benin made a tactical change and withdrew their goal keeper Sartunin… To Page 19
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Alagbe for Farbiern Farnolle while “Micho” replaced Prince Mumba for Collins Sikombe in the first minute of the second half.
Brian Mwila replaced Rodgers Kola before goal keeper Mwenya Chibwe produced a double save to deny Benin from scoring the equaliser in the 69th minute.
Benin finally levelled the scores in the 80th minute through Yohan Roche who scored a controversial goal which was deemed as an offside by the lines man who raised his flag before the centre referee gave the goal as the match ended 2-2.
The Chipolopolo will conclude their friendly matches with a game against Sudan on Friday in Sudan.