U-20 overcome Malawi

HONE SIAME from Blantyre, Malawi, reports:
ZAMBIA yesterday took a huge step towards qualifying for the 2015 African Youth Championship finals after edging Malawi in a keenly-fought encounter at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The Zambian teenagers put up a brave fight, taking the game to Malawi’s area and getting goals in the first half before the hosts’ consolation late on.
Larry Bwalya opened the scoring on 13 minutes with a low shot past goalkeeper Brighton Munthali after latching onto Patrick Ngoma’s cross from the left.
Malawi’s Chawanangwa Kaonga ballooned his strike with goalkeeper Mangani Banda out of his line in the 20th minute as the hosts tried to fight their way back into the game.
Charles Zulu doubled the lead on the hour mark from a rebound. Saith Sakala’s cracker was spilled by Munthali and Kelvin Chinyama pounced on the rebound with a surgeon’s accuracy.
Kaonga reduced the arrears from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute after defender Boyd Mkandawire upended Ernest Tambe and South African referee Lwandile Mfiki cautioned the Zambian with a yellow card.
Zambia coach Hector Chilombo introduced Juma Mutale for Kelvin Chinyama in the 48th minute while Malawi unleashed Khumalo Ng’ambi for Isaac Kaliyati on 53 minutes.
Ngoma’s close-range shot was saved by goalkeeper Munthali in the 49th minute as Zambia pressed for a third goal.
Malawi piled pressure as they searched for the equaliser but the junior Chipolopolo held on.
Chilombo rested Ngoma for Dave Daka in the 68th minute and two minutes later, Kaonga missed a sitter.
With time running out, Malawi coach Ernest Mtawali threw in Precious Msosa for Stanley Sanudi on 80 minutes while Chilombo introduced Simon Tembo for Bwalya.
Zambia goalkeeper Mangani Banda received a yellow card for time wasting in added time but it was worth the risk as the Zambian lads ran out winners.
“It’s a good victory for us. We are one step to Senegal. We won the game in the midfield because we knew Malawi were strong in the midfield,” Chilombo said.
Mtawali said: “This is the worst game we have played here at home. The boys didn’t play well but we are not giving up because we are capable of scoring two goals in Zambia.”
Zambia national team coach Honour Janza, Zambia’s High Commission in Malawi staff led by defence advisor Muteto Makezo and Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo watched the match.
The return leg is set for August 30.
Malawi: Brighton Munthali, Daliso Sailesi, Miracle Gabeya, Suwedi
Limbani, Boston Kabango, Matias Nyirenda, Isaac Mwale, Chawanangwa Kaonga, Enerst Tambe, Stanley Sanudi (Precious Msosa), Isaac Kaliyati (Khumalo Ng’ambi)
Zambia: Mangani Banda, Peter Mulenga, Boyd Mkandawire, Kelvin Chinyama (Juma Mutale), Patrick Ngoma (Dave Daka), Saith Sakala, Charles Zulu, Larry Bwalya, Kayawe Kapota, Alex Mwamba, Spencer Sautu
Referee: Lwandile Mfiki (South Africa).