Voice of Sport

Packed crowds in Zambia as buoyant home team causes thrills

Cecafa representatives Sudan’s slim hopes of reaching the semi-finals will depend on a huge win over South Africa in the last Group ‘B’ match in Lusaka on Sunday


2017 U20 Africa Cup of Nations:

Fixtures:

Sunday, March 5:

(15.00, Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola)

Senegal v Cameroon

(15.00, National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka)

Sudan v South Africa

PACKED Stadiums is the main feature of ongoing Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations football in Zambia and it helps that the home team is doing so well. There was not a seat left in the 60,000 capacity National Heroes Stadium in capital Lusaka when the home team sensationally whipped Egypt 3-1 on Saturday to record maximum wins in Group ‘A’ and qualify for the semi-finals.

The Egyptians were eliminated and unlikely Guinea, with a surprise 3-2 win over Mali grabbed the other group slot for the semis.

On Sunday, Group ‘B’ will be settled and Sudan, the sole Cecafa [Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations] region representatives have only the option of taking a big win over South Africa to maintain hopes of going through, their [Sudan] only earlier point coming from a 1-1 tie with Senegal on the opening day.

Zambia 3-1 Egypt

Patson Daka’s brace marked Zambia’s great performance the outshone the Young Pharaohs of Egypt at the National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka on Saturday. It was a serious come back by the home boys who were down 0-1 at the break.

The former Power Dynamos’ youngster Daka scored his second of the tournament with a brilliant strike after beating the offside trap to level the matters straight after the break.

Conceded

The home crowd that had been muted by Egypt’s lead then became boisterous and literally carried the local lads for the rest of the match. It was the first time that the Zambians had conceded first in the competition.

Fashion Sakala would make it 2-1 deep in the second half before Daka put the game beyond the reach of the Egyptians. What a comeback! It was a sweet return to the venue for the hosts who had impressed in their past two fixtures of the group stage; beating Guinea and Mali. In the process the local boys scored 10 goals in the three games, conceding just two. They collected nine points from three fixtures and were five clear of second-placed Guinea who beat Mali 3-2 in Ndola.

Guinea 3-2 Mali

Meanwhile, in the Group ‘B’ venue of Ndola, 300km north of Lusaka near the border with Congo [Kinshasa], Guinea shocked everyone with their push for the semi-s with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over highly favoured fellow West African rivals Mali.

Standings and results:

Group ‘A’

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts  
1  Zambia (H, A) 3 3 0 0 10 2 +8 9  
2  Guinea (A) 3 1 1 1 4 4 0 4
3  Egypt (E) 3 0 2 1 2 4 −2 2  
4  Mali (E) 3 0 1 2 3 9 −6 1

(A) Advance to a further round; (E) Eliminated; (H) Host.

RESULTS:

February 26, 2017:

Zambia  1–0  Guinea
Daka  47′    
National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka
Referee: Juste Ephrem Zio (Burkina Faso)
 
Egypt  0–0  Mali
     
National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka
Referee: Victor Gomes (South Africa)
March 1:
Guinea  1–1  Egypt
Touré  79′   Abdalla  37′
National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka
Referee: Jackson Pavaza (Namibia)
 
Mali  1–6  Zambia
Danté  5′ Report F. Sakala  7′, 65′
E. Banda  24′
Mwepu  37′
Chilufya  49′, 53′
National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka
Referee: Joshua Bondo (Botswana)
March 4: 
Zambia  3–1  Egypt
Daka  51′, 90′
Fashion Sakala  73′
  Karim Walid  36′
National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka
Referee: Martins De Carvalho (Angola)
March 4: 

 

Guinea  3–2  Mali
     
Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola
Referee: Antoine Max Effa Essouma (Cameroon)

Group ‘B’

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts  
1  Senegal 2 1 1 0 5 4 +1 4  
2  South Africa 2 1 0 1 6 5 +1 3
3  Cameroon 2 1 0 1 5 4 +1 3  
4  Sudan 2 0 1 1 2 5 −3 1
RESULTS:

February 27:

 
                       
Senegal  1–1  Sudan
Niane  88′   Mutwakil  21′ (pen.)
Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola
Referee: Ibrahim Nour El Din (Egypt)
 
Cameroon  1–3  South Africa
Ayuk  14′   Singh  16′, 26′ (pen.), 57′
Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola
Referee: Thierry Nkurunziza (Burundi)
2 March:
Sudan  1–4  Cameroon
W. Mohamed  79′ Report Ketu  8′
Ayuk  51′
Gouet  73′
Mbaizo  89′
Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola
Referee: Wisdom Chewe (Zambia)
March 2:
South Africa  3–4  Senegal
Jordan  1′
Malepe  24′
Singh  81′
  Ndiaye  49′
Diagne  54′, 61′
Diatta  70′
Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola
Referee: Louis Hakizimana Rwanda)

 March 5:
15:00

Senegal  v  Cameroon
     
Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola
15:00
Sudan  v  South Africa
     

National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka

-Additional reporting by Agencies