Thursday Jul 08, 2021. 14:32
Chipolopolo Zambia blew away a one-nil halftime lead to lose 2-1 to Lesotho’s to suffer a setback to the start of their COSAFA Cup title defence.
It was a modest first half with Chipolopolo looking the more likely to break the deadlock led by Augustine Mulenga and Gamphani Lungu.
Zambia were unfortunate not to be ahead in the 22nd minute when Justin Shonga saw his header come off the beam from a Roderick Kabwe free kick.
But six minutes later, Shonga made no mistake when he tapped-in a rebound after Lesotho goalkeeper Sekhoane Moerane parried Lungu’s initial short into the Cape Town FC striker’s path to see Zambia head into the break with a comfortable lead.
Zambia then failed to extend the lead in the 65h minute with two poor finishes in quick succession.
Mulenga’s initial shot was softly cleared but Lungu on the rebound sent the ball wide in front of an open goal.
Lesotho then made it a little harder for Zambia in the 69th minute when substitute Motebang Sera turned in a Tumelo Khutlang cross.
The outstanding Khurlang had been a constant threat to Chipolopolo’s backline since the 20th minute of the first half.
Meanwhile, Lesotho’s goal only served to fuel their belief and put the defending champions on the backfoot.
Lesotho’s resolve paid off at the death and Sera completed their dramatic rally in the 88th minute to see them bounce back from Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Eswatini.
Chipolopolo must now redeem themselves in game-two on July 10 against Eswatini with three games left to salvage their title defence hopes.