Monday Oct 11, 2021. 16:00
We gave it our best shot, says Chipolopolo captain and Danish-based midfielder Lubambo Musonda after Zambia’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying dreams were ended by Equatorial Guinea on Sunday evening.
Zambia’s slim hopes of staying in the hunt for Qatar qualification ended on October 10 following a 1-1 home draw against Equatorial Guinea at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
The draw left third placed Chipolopolo on 4 points, six points behind Group B leaders Tunisia and unable to overhaul The Carthage Eagles’ who are top and unbeaten on 10 points from four matches.
“Well, on our side I think it is a disappointing result because we really wanted to get the maximum points at home and we played our lungs out , we really tried,” Lubambo said of Danish second tier side AC Horsens..
“But we wasted a lot of chances. We tried to get an early goal but we were so unlucky we had to miss a lot of chances”.
The push for a home win started in the 14th minute when midfielder Kelvin Mubanga’s near post shot was saved by Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Jesus Owono.
Five minutes later, Fashion Sakala’s header from a Clatous Chama cross went marginally high.
Owono then flapped-out defender Benedict Chepeshi’s long-range speculative shot in the 25 minute.
But the highlight of Zambia’s first half misses came in the 38th minute when midfielder Rally Bwalya’s volley came off the posts.
“We came back in the second half and got a goal but we allowed them as well to frustrate us at home,” Lubambo said.
The deadlock was broken in the 65th minute when Fashion weaved his way into the box before unleashing a superb shot to put Chipolopolo ahead.
However, Federico Bikoro punished Chipolopolo for some poor defending when he headed-in the equalizer in the 82nd minute from a Jannick Buyla corner to end Zambia’s Qatar hopes with two Group B games to spare.