CHIPOLOPOLO Boys yesterday lost 1-0 to Bafana Bafana in an international friendly considered crucial in Zambia’s preparation ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament this month in Equatorial Guinea.
Another goal for Bafana Bafana was disallowed in injury time.
The hosts scored through second half substitute Thuso Phala to secure a well deserved victory for Bafana Bafana in a match played at Orlando Pirates’ Stadium in Soweto.
Phala gave Bafana Bafana the lead at 80 minutes after Chipolopolo goal-minder Danny Munyau, who came in to replace Kennedy Mweene who hopped out of the pitch after an injury, failed to stop the ball.
Chipolopolo, captained by Rainford Kalaba, had a couple of good chances to lead and possibly win the game but the boys failed to utilities those opportunities.
In the first 25 minutes of the match, Zambia took control of the game and had two chances at goal which could have given them the lead but were blown. Chisamba Lungu and Emmanuel Mayuka were involved in the chances as they continued to torment the South Africans.
But the situation quickly changed at 35 minutes when South Africa’s fullback Thabo Matlaba’s shot destined into the net went just wide.
Just before the end of first half, Zambia’s first corner also went begging and a minute before half-time Mayuka was sacrificed for Jackson Mwanza.
After a goalless first half and the match looking like it would end goalless it was Phala who broke the deadlock 10 minutes after replacing Mandla Masango.
In his search for goals for Chipolopolo, coach Honour Janza took away Lungu, who was earlier injured, and introduced James Chamanga while on the defence brought in Christopher Munthali in the place of Stopilla Sunzu.
Soon after that, the Chipolopolo Boys and Bafana Bafana, the perennial rivals’encounter became a see-saw affair and either of the team saw no goal at that stage.
In the 67th minute, the South Africans who continued to push forward came very close to netting a much needed goal through Masago.
But for Chipolopolo there were still no goals and chances became rare which compelled Janza to substitute Mukuka Mulenga for Lubambo Musonda at 73 minutes.
The match was a good platform for the Chipolopolo Boys to pull up their socks as they prepare to travel to Equatorial Guinea in nine days’ time.
Coach Janza used the match to assess the readiness of his players ahead of the AfCON which kicks off on January 17 in Equatorial Guinea. Zambia is placed in Group B along with Democratic Republic of Congo, Cape Verde and Tunisia. Chipolopolo team included: Kennedy Mweene (goalkeeper), Davies Nkausu, Rodrick Kabwe, Kondwani Mtonga, Stopilla Sunzu, Nathan Sinkala, Chisamba Lungu, Lubambo Musonda, Rainford Kalaba (captain), Given Singuluma and Emmanuel Mayuka.
Substitutes were Danny Munyao (goalkeeper), Donashano Malama, Christopher Munthali, Bronson Chama, Spencer Sautu, Bruce Musakanya, Ronald Kampamba, Mukuka Mulenga, James Chamanga, Jackson Mwanza, Joshua Titima and Aaron Katebe.
Bafana Bafana side included: Darren Keet (goalkeeper), Anele Ngcongca (captain), Thabo Matlaba, Eric Mathoho, Rivaldo Coetzee, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Mandla Masango, Oupa Manyisa, Bongani Ndulula, Tokelo Rantie.
Substitutes were Brilliant Khuzwayo (goalkeeper), Jackson Mabokgwane (goalkeeper), Thulani Hlatshwayo, Bongani Zungu, Thuso Phala, Themba Zwane, Bernard Parker, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Siyabonga Nhlapho.