Friday Sep 03, 2021. 20:52
Chipolopolo on Friday collected a historic first-ever away win beating Mauritania 2-1 in the two sides’ debut meeting to make a very promising start in their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B qualifying race in Nouakchott.
Zambia went top of Group B for at least two hours ahead of Tunisia’s home game against Equatorial Guinea in 21h00 CAT kickoff in Rades.
Chipolopolo captain Enock Mwepu of English club Brighton and Kabwe Warriors midfielder Prince Mumba scored in each half to hand Zambia their first FIFA World Cup or AFCON qualifier opening day victory since November 2015 when they beat Sudan 1-0 away in a Russia 2018 qualifier.
The also result sees Mauritania suffer their first home loss since June, 2016 when Cameroon beat them 1-0 in a 2017 AFCON Group M qualifier.
Meanwhile, Mwepu led by example when he put Chipolopolo ahead in the 10th minute when he poked in a long Roderick Kabwe punt from the edge of Zambia box after the ball initially took a deflection off Mumba before it rolled in front of the Brighton midfielder.
But four minutes earlier, Adama Ba’s free kick he had won off Zesco United defender Solomon Sakala’s foul sailed inches high of Chipolopolo goalkeeper Mwenya Chibwe’s horizontal.
The first half overall was sparkless although the class was clear with Chipolopolo the technically superior side on the day.
Mauritania’s second best attempt of that period came in the 43rd minute when Mahmoud Abdallahi sent his shot wide but Chibwe overall had very little to do in the first half despite some modest threats from the hosts.
It was a fairly even affair after the restart with Zambia taking their foot off the peddle with an eye clearly on the gruelling long trip back home for Tuesdays big date against Tunisia in Ndola.
Mauritania capitalised on that opportunity when Niass Amadou cut the margin in the 70th minute foul minutes after he replaced Ismail Diakhite.
Aamdou beat Roderick Kabwe after racing with the ball into the box just off a beautiful long cross from Yaly Dellah.
Chipolopolo again got off the hook in the 86th minute when Tanji Hemeya’s header from a Adama Ba corner narrowly went wide at the far post but Beston Chambesh’s team held on to make a statement on match day one in Group B.