|Zambian Wins Group A|
Christopher Katongo’s solitary strike was enough to hand Zambia a top spot finish ahead of Equatorial Guinea in Group A, as they edged the Afcon co-hosts 1-0 in Malabo.
Equatorial Guinea were without their inspirational captain Rodolfo Bodipo due to injury, while Lawrence Doe was suspended after his red card against Senegal.
Inside the first five minutes, Zambian skipper Christopher Katongo broke through the centre before squeezing his shot high and wide of the target from just outside the area.
Soon after Zambian goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene did well to collect a testing cross by Javier Balboa from the right.
Mweene was called into action again in the 10th minute as he saved Juvenal Edjogo's stinging free-kick from 35 yards out.
At the other end, Emmanuel Makaya tried something special as he headed over the crossbar with his back to goal.
In this free free-flowing contest, there was plenty of space to exploit. In the 28th minute, Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Danilo acrobatically punched clear a cross from the right to bring the crowd to its feet.
Mweene did superbly to thwart Ivan Bolado in a one-on-one situation by racing off his line to close the angle in the 43rd minute.
At the break, it was goalless in Malabo.
In the second stanza, the game remained open and Zambia looked the more promising of the two sides.
But after numerous failed attempts, Katongo finally managed to break the deadlock in the 67th minute: he stepped in off the left flank before sneaking the ball past Danilo at the near post from just inside the area to make it 1-0.
After the goal the match took a different dimension from which goal scoring opportunities were limited and as a result Zambia walked out 1-0 victors.
This loss serves as a double blow for Nzalang Nacional. Not only will they probably end up facing Cote d’Ivoire in the next round, they won’t play the match in their stronghold of Bata.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 January 2012 20:40 )|