Saturday 24 March 2018

Football: Zambia, Namibia reach CHAN quarter-finals

Football: Zambia, Namibia reach CHAN quarter-finals
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
Zambia celebrates qualification

Zambia and Namibia reached the African Nations Championship (CHAN) quarter-finals on Thursday after contrasting victories in central Moroccan city Marrakech.

Augustine Mulenga, who turned 28 the day before the match, scored in each half as Zambia cruised to a 2-0 victory over the Ivory Coast at the 45,000-capacity Grand Stade de Marrakech.

Later, Namibia won their second successive match through a stoppage-time goal with Halleluya Nekundi the scorer in a 1-0 victory over 10-man Uganda.

Namibia and Zambia meet on Monday in Casablanca to decide first place while there will be only pride at stake when the Ivory Coast face Uganda in Marrakech.

It was the third time in three attempts that Zambia have reached the knockout phase in the biennial tournament for home-based footballers.

Namibia are competing for the first time after shocking Zimbabwe in a qualifier, and their preparations were hampered by the cancellation of their 2016/17 domestic league.

A back-heel created an opening for Zambia and Mulenga swept the ball into the net past goalkeeper Ble Zadi after only eight minutes.

His second goal on 74 minutes could be a candidate for the best of the tournament as he beat three defenders inside the box before netting with a low angled shot.

Uganda, playing their second match under new French coach Sebastien Desabre, dominated possession until defender Timothy Awany was harshly red-carded in the closing stages.

Namibia took full advantage two minutes into additional time when Nekundi held off a challenge to slam the ball past Isima Watenga from close range.

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