Football Sport

Chipolopolo exit

ZAMBIA defender Emmanuel Mbola (right) duels with Cape Verde’s Garry Rodrigues in yesterday’s Africa Cup of Nations Grou

VICTOR KUMWENDA, Ebebiyin Stadium, Equatorial Guinea
ZAMBIA were last night kicked out of the Africa Cup of Nations at the preliminary stage after settling for a goalless draw with underweights Cape Verde.
Needing victory to progress to the quarter-finals, the Chipolopolo fired blanks at a rain-soaked pitch at Ebebiyin Stadium. Cape Verde were also eliminated.
Tunisia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who drew 1-1 in Bata progressed to the last eight. Tunisia topped Group B with five points, DRC and Cape Verde have three points apiece but the former have a better goal aggregate while Zambia managed two points.
Zambia squandered a myriad of opportunities with Evans Kangwa and substitute Mukuka Mulenga missing sure goals late on.
Kangwa shot wide a Chisamba Lungu splitting pass in the 77th minute while Mulenga failed to put the ball into the net after goalkeeper Josimar Dias had parried Rainford Kalaba’s cross into his way on 83 minutes.
Zambia started on a promising note with Kondwani Mtonga’s header from a Kalaba corner cleared on the line in the fourth minute.
Zambia pushed forward with Given Singuluma’s shot was parried by Dias but the unmarked Kangwa was offside on 15 minutes.
Kalaba’s shot on the edge on the box in the 24 minute was blocked for a corner.
Cape Verde could have gone ahead in the 35th minute when Garry Rodriquez outpaced Emmanuel Mbola but his final touch went wide.
Goalkeeper Dias parried for a corner Kalaba’s thunderbolt from a freekick in the 41st minute.
Cape Verde’s best chance to score was on the nick of half time when Ryan Mendes failed to tap in a Rodriques free-kick with goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene beaten.
Zambia, the 2012 African champions, were eliminated in the group stage at the 2013 showpiece in South Africa.

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