…Chipolopolo start their Qatar World Cup qualifying journey on a positive note.
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THE Zambia National Soccer team has started their quest to make a debut appearance at a World Cup tournament on a positive note after stunning Mauritania 2-1 in a Group B Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
First and second half goals from midfielder Enock “Computer” Mwepu and Prince Mumba handed the Chipolopolo maximum three points away from home.
Mwepu who plays for Brighton and Hove Albion captained the Chipolo and led as a perfect example when he broke the deadlock just ten minutes after kick off to give Zambia the lead after benefiting from Prince Mumba’s assist.
Mauritania were the first to threaten and came close to scoring the opener two minutes before Mwepu’s goal but were unlucky as Adama Ba sent his free kick slightly over the bar.
Winger Edward Chilufya came close to doubling Zambia’s advantage in the 22nd minute but his sublime free kick was saved by the Mauritanian goal keeper.
Chilufya also saw his effort going over the bar in the 27th minute as Zambia dictated play.
Mauritania were unlucky as they came close to leveling the scores in the 44th minute when N’diaye Bakary’s free kick went wide with the first stanza ending 1-0 in favour of the Chipolopolo.
Zambia looked vulnerable in the second half and almost conceded in the
49th minute when Adama Ba hit the side netting with a low shot on goal.
Zambia however punished Mauritania for their poor finishing upfront when Prince Mumba benefited from a counter attack to slot in Zambia’s second goal.
Lubambo Musonda set up the Kabwe Warriors young star after exchanging passes with Leicester City striker Patson Daka for the the Chipolopolo opened a 2-0 lead in Nouakchott.
Despite leading 2-0 the Chipolopolo looked shaky in all departments forcing coach Beston Chambeshi to withdraw Edward Chilufya for Spencer Sautu.
Amadou Niass punished Zambia’s clumsy defence and beat goal keeper Mwenya Chibwe with a low shot on goal to get the consolation goal for Mauritania in the 68th minute.
Chambeshi introduced Benson Sakala for Prince Mumba while Dickson Chapa replaced injured Boyd Musonda.
However, Mauritania continued to dominate the second half and created numerous scoring chances.
However, the Chipolopolo had the safe pair of hands in goal keeper Mwenya Chibwe who produced some fantastic saves as Zambia held on to their 2-1 lead to pick a very important win which propelled them to three points in Group B.
Zambia’s next game will be a home fixture against Tunisia slated for Tuesday at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.