Thursday Nov 12, 2020. 20:26
Zambia edged out Botswana 2-1 in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Thursday evening.
As a result, Chipolopolo moved up to third place on the Group H table, while the Zebras of Botswana moved down to fourth place on the standings.
Chipolopolo dominated the match from the start with Justin Shonga keeping the Zebras defence busy with his good movement in the visitors’ half.
However, the Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila striker was wasteful in front of goal, while Ghampani Lungu also missed a good chance.
Zambia were left to rue their missed chances when the visitors broke the deadlock just before the half-time break.
Tumisang Orebonye scored with a header in the 45th minute to make it 1-0 to Botswana with the home side’s defence caught ball watching.
However, the Zebras went to sleep at the back at the other end and they were punished by RB Salzburg midfielder Enock Mwepu.
The 22-year-old player tapped the ball home from inside the box to make it 1-1 heading into the half-time break.
Chipolopolo launched attacks after the restart with coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic having introduced Klings Kangwa with the hosts looking to take the lead for the first time.
The home side did grab the goal they had been looking for and it was Collins Sikombe, who fired the 2012 African champions into the lead.
The Lusaka Dynamos centre forward beat Botswana goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe to make it 2-1 to Zambia six minutes after the hour-mark.
The visitors responded by introducing former Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Mogakolodi Ngele as they looked to snatch a late equalizing goal.
However, Zambia stood firm at the back in the closing stages of the match and utimately, they emerged 2-1 winners over Botswana.
Zambia (1) 2 (Mwepu 45’+2, Sikomve 66′)
Botswana (1) 1 (Orebonye 45′)
Zambia: Mwange, Lungu, Chilongoshi, Mwape, Banda, Kapumbu, Mwepu, Sikombe (L. Mulenga 85′), Musonda (Chabula 59′), Shonga (Sakala 59′), A. Mulenga (K.Kangwa 46′).
Botswana: Dambe, Mathumo, Maikano, Ratanang, Kesekile, Gaolalwe, Cooper (Ngele 78′), Tshireletso (Elias 34′), Kebaikanye (Molebatsi 61′), Seakanyeng, Orebonye.