Football Sport

Spencer Sautu: Best performer in Zambia’s defeat to South Africa


THE Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games dream is over. Zambia will not be represented in the football tournament following the under-23 national team’s second defeat at the African Championship in Dakar, Senegal.
Zambia lost 3-2 to South Africa on Tuesday night, three days after going down 2-1 to Tunisia.
Zambia are bottom in Group A without points while leaders Senegal have six points and South Africa and Tunisia have three points apiece.
The junior Chipolopolo scored first but South Africa scored three goals in seven minutes to carry the day.
Toaster Nsabata 4/10: Nsabata’s performance against South Africa surprised many. Although the defence was porous, the goalkeeper and skipper could have prevented one or two goals from hitting the net.
Benedict Chepeshi: 5/10: Chepeshi was not as bad as he was in the first game against Tunisia. He was composed and this time around he was not the weakest link but was at fault for the third goal.
Boyd Mkandawire:  5/10: Mkandawire was out of position most of the time. He helped in attack but was slow to get back in base. He also lacks pace.
Billy Mutale: 6/10: Mutale tried his best to halt the movement of South Africa striker Phakamani Mahlambi who proved to be a thorn in the Zambian defence. Mutale scored the second goal but it was too late to save the junior Chipolopolo from elimination.
Kapota Kayawe: 4/10: From the first whistle, Kayawe was flat, he made several schoolboy errors and coach Fighton Simukonda withdrew him in the second half.
Benson Sakala: 6/10: Sakala did a good job in the first half winning balls in midfield. However it was a different story in the early stages of the second half as both the midfield and the defence collapsed allowing South Africa to score three goals.
Paul Katema: 4/10:  It was surprising to see how Katema’s performance dropped against South Africa. From being one of the best performers in the game against Tunisia, the Red Arrows player was one of the worst on the pitch against South Africa. Most of his passes were astray.
Spencer Sautu: 8/10: Sautu was outstanding. He fought well, charged forward and gave his maker Abbubakar Mobara a torrid time. He was Zambia’s best performer on the day.
Ronald Kampamba: 4/10: The Egypt-based striker put up a good show against Tunisia but was a shadow of himself in Tuesday’s match. He was flat and did not come to the party. It was not surprising that he was called to the bench in the 47th minute.
Lubambo Musonda: 6/10: You don’t expect much from a player who spent almost 10 hours flying and just joined the team on the eve of the game. He did not put up his usual inspiring performance.
Conlyde Luchanga: 7/10: The youngster was busy searching for goals and for sure it did come when he connected a Sautu cross to put Zambia ahead. He was used as a sole attacker and did fairly well but he did not get much support from the wings.
Salulani Phiri: 6/10: Phiri brought stability when he replaced Kayawe. Benson Sakala dropped into central defence and Phiri took over as an anchorman and did a good job.
Aubrey Chirwa: 4/10: Chirwa lasted only a few minutes on the pitch and it’s difficult to rate him. Maybe he should have been introduced early because when he came in, South African defenders felt his impact.

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