Zambia fight back for heroic U20 World Cup win over Iran

Zambia fight back for heroic U20 World Cup win over Iran
epa05985550 Mohammad Soltanimehr (L) of Iran is tackled by Emmanuel Banda (C) of Zambia during the group stage match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 between Zambia and Iran at the Jeju World Cup Stadium in Jeju Island, South Korea, 24 May 2017. EPA/WALLACE WOON

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday May 24, 2017. 12:19

Fashion Sakala, Enock Mwepu, Emmanuel Banda and Patson Daka's goals ensured Zambia beat Iran 4-2 in the 2017 U20 FIFA World Cup. Group C match at Jeju World Cup Stadium in Seogwipo on Wednesday.

The victory for the U20 African champions sees them placed at number one with six points from two wins – their final tie comes against Costa Rica on Saturday.

As early as the first minute, Iran nearly punished Zambia as Reza Shekari missed an easy tap in with only goalkeeper Mangani Banda to beat.

However, Shekari made amends as he netted in the seventh minute when Banda's clearance went straight to the Iranian, allowing the midfielder to easily finish making it 1-0.

Although Beston Chambeshi's men took the game to the Iranians, their touch and decision making in the final third failed to yield any results to find an equaliser.

On the stroke of half time, Sakala saw his well drilled header hitting the woodwork following a brilliant cross from Shemmy Mayembe on the right wing.

It was 1-0 at half time for Iran.

Upon their return, the Junior Chipolopolo were dealt a huge blow when they conceded a penalty in the 48th minute and Shekari completed his brace from the spot kick, 2-0.

However, Sakala pulled one back for the Zambians in the 54th minute after beating his marker in the box before firing a rocket past keeper Nima Mirzazad, 2-1.

As they continued to pile pressure on Iran, Mwepu equalised five minutes later as he brilliantly finished a pass from Banda, 2-2.

Zambia completed their comeback in the 65th minute when Banda pounced on a loose ball from close range following a scramble in the box, 3-2.

With 19 minutes to go, Iran was exposed at the back when Daka finished in style with his low shot leaving keeper Mirzazad stranded, handing the Zambians a 4-2 lead.

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