Football Sport

Zambia in CHAN 2016 quarters

VICTOR KUMWENDA, Umuganda Stadium, Rubavu, Rwanda
CHRISTOPHER Katongo yesterday demonstrated that he has lost nothing from his class as an amateur acrobat or goal poacher when his headed goal earned Zambia victory over Uganda and qualification for the quarter-finals of the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
The Zambia skipper rose highest to meet Cletus Chama’s free-kick and beat goalkeeper Mathias Kigonya with ease. He rolled the years back, flipping three times before adding the newest form of celebration – salute.
The 40th minute goal consigned to history memories of his missed penalty against the Cranes during an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in 2013.
It was a match Zambia deservingly won and the scoreline would have been healthier had Katongo’s lovely chip early on not been cleared off the line. Chama also had a chance to register his name on the scorers’ chart but dithered when he was played through towards the end.
It was a fast-paced match, as Uganda oozed confidence but Zambia matched them in every aspect and were soon in the driving seat.
Uganda striker Erissa Sekisambu shot wide in the 10th minute with the Zambian defence beaten.
Three minutes later, Chama floated in a free-kick but Christopher Munthali headed straight at Kigonya.
In the 18th minute, Isaac Chansa bulldozed on the right flank and crossed for Katongo. The skipper chested the ball and lobbed Kigonya but Sekisambu cleared on the line.
Chama’s shot zoomed wide from the edge on the box in the 23rd minute.
Chipolopolo goalkeeper Jacob Banda parried a Joseph Ochaya shot from a free-kick for a corner on 31 minutes.
Zambia suffered a setback in the 39th minute when midfielder Salulani Phiri limped off with an injury and was replaced by Benson Sakala.
Zambia took the lead on 40 minutes when Katongo nodded in Chama’s free-kick.
On resumption, Uganda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic introduced Frank Kalanda for Robert Sentogo in a bid to add firepower upfront.
Not satisfied with his attackers, Micho unleashed Martin Kizza for Ivan Ntege in the 59th minute.
Kalanda shot wide with Banda to beat in the 67th minute.
Zambia coach George Lwandamina withdrew Patson Daka for Conlyde Luchanga on 72minutes.
Chama could have scored the second goal in the 80th minute but hesitated to shoot and his effort was blocked for a corner.
“It is a good situation to win. I am sure we planned to go through to the quarter-finals. It is good for me and the country. I think we have achieved our objective,” Lwandamina said.
Uganda coach Micho said: “I believe we dominated the second half but unfortunately we did not utilise our chances and the match went out of our way.”
Zambia have six points, two better than Mali, who beat Zimbabwe 1-0 in an early kick-off. Uganda are stuck with a point while Zimbabwe have nothing.
Today’s CHAN Group A Fixtures:
Morocco v Rwanda (16:00)
Ivory Coast v Gabon (16:00)

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