THE Zambia national soccer team yesterday failed to beat the slow build-up Democratic Republic of Congo in the first match of group B at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.
Chipolopolo were the first to score in the first minute of the first half through TP Mazembe’s Given Singuluma.
Zambia could have increased the score-line in the 17th minute through a well taken free kick by Rainford Kalaba but it went inches over the bar.
Kalaba, who was the engine of the Chipolopolo team, made numerous attractive passes which Emmanuel Mayuka wasted in front of goal.
Zambia allowed the Leopards to organise themselves and launch several attacks which were foiled by hard working Kennedy Mweene.
The first half did not see much action as DRC’s Mulumbu and Mambela missing few opportunities, with a clear one coming in the 41st minute of the first half.
Both teams went on a break with Singuluma’s goal separating the two.
The second half was another inactive session with little running by the Chipolopolo, allowing Yeta Bolasie levelling the score in the 65th minute.
Zambia coach Honour Janza made changes to consolidate the striking force with Emmanuel Mayuka rested for Evans Kangwa while Mukuka Mulenga came on for Rainford Kalaba.
The final result was Zambia 1 Congo DR 1.
Zambia takes on Tunisia next Thursday before concluding its group stages when they face Cape Verde on Monday in another highly charged game to see who qualifies to the next round.