Zambia storms Rwanda finals via 4-1 aggregate over Mozambique
ZAMBIA yesterday secured her place at the Rwanda 2016 African Nations (CHAN) championships and was a time of redemption for coach George ‘Chicken’ Lwandamina who failed to qualify the team to Sudan in 2011 in the same tournament.
The Chipolopolo Boys drew 1-all with Mozambique in the final leg played at Machava Stadium to sail through on a 4-1 aggregate result.
Zambia beat Mozambique 3-0 in the first leg at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on October 19 and just needed a draw in yesterday’s match to book a place in Rwanda.
The game started on a high note, with Zambia’s strikers Winston Kalengo and Festus Mbewe mounting pressure on the Mamba’s defence.
Zambia broke the deadlock in the 19th minute when Mbewe headed in a goal from inside the box.
Chipolopolo continued to search for a second goal but Kalengo’s efforts did not yield any results, going into half time.
Mozambique looked more organised in the second half but fired blanks on target.
After 70 minutes of play, Lwandamina introduced Conlyde Luchanga, Spencer Sautu and Moses Phiri for Mbewe, Mwape Mwelwa and Charles Zulu.
Mozambique’s equaliser came in the 85th minute through a spot-kick after Christopher Munthali handled the ball in the box. Momed Hagi converted the penalty.
Lwandamina commended the boys for putting up a strong fight to ensure that they qualified to the CHAN finals.
“I am happy that we are through to the CHAN tournament slated for Rwanda. It was not an easy game as Mozambique was trying to upset the result. I am glad the boys stayed put. The focus now is to prepare the team for the tournament,” he said.
Mozambique coach Helder ‘Mano Mano’Muianga said his boys lost track in the first half after conceding a goal.
Muianga said the team tried to push hard in the second half but could not manage to score the five goals in order to qualify.
“Zambia is a strong team and gave Mozambique a good game. We knew that it was not easy to overturn the results,” he said.
Zambia has missed on two CHAN editions in 2010 and 2014 since winning bronze in 2009 at the inaugural tournament in Ivory Coast.