Chipolopolo beat Harambee Stars as fans miss game due to load shedding

Zambia came from a goal down to defeat Kenya 2 – 1 in a Group E of the Africa Cup of Nations qualification match played at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday but many Zambian soccer fans missed the game due to load shedding.
The victory meant that Zambia moved into second position on the standings with 4 points on goal difference from Congo who edged bottom placed Guinea Bissau 4 – 2 on Saturday.
Michael Olunga opened the scoring on 13 minutes to give the hosts an early lead when he poked the ball over an on rushing Mweene despite pressure from Boyd Mkandawire and Aaron Katebe.
Despite the early setback Zambia were not distraught and responded with an equaliser from Winston Kalengo who benefited from a dipping pass from Collins Mbesuma and fired into the top corner of Origi’s goal on the turn inside the box.
Kalengo turned provider in the 42nd minute when he chested the ball from a throw-in and found a pass to Mbesuma who fired home off the upright for the Chipolopolo to take a 2 – 1 lead at the break.
The second half started with the hosts on the attack and they could have restored parity immediately after the restart but Olunga saw his header cleared off the line by Lungu.
The match thereafter became physical with little goal mouth action.
Zambia National football team coach George Lwandamina said he had picked lessons from the match but added that the most important was that his team emerged victorious.
“It was a good victory. It wasn’t an easy game; playing away from home and with some new players in the team, it was great to see them withstand the pressure.
“Our opponents played long balls to avoid our midfield but it worked against them because that kind of play can be good for anyone,” Lwandamina said.
The Chipolopolo gaffer then heaped praise on Collins Mbesuma whose experience he said proved invaluable.
“Playing Mbesuma was not a gamble. He is doing fine at his club in South Africa so I invited him so he could add value to the team and his contribution proved worthwhile. His experience was good for the team today.”
Meanwhile Harambee Stars coach Bobby Williamson blamed his defence for the loss.
“We started very well but we defended badly although to be fair they worked hard and fought well. But the frailty is in how we conceded the goals and that’s disappointing,” Williamson said.
Zambia host Congo in the next match scheduled for the midweek of 23 to 26 March 2016 while Kenya travel to Guinea Bissau during the same week.

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