10 June 2012

Zambia/Ghana: Chipolopolo Beat Black Stars to Get World Cup Campaign Back On Track

Photo: CAF
Power Dynamoes of Zambia

African champions Zambia fired their 2014 FIFA World Cup dream into motion when Chris Katongo's strike on the quarter hour mark propelled Chipolopolo to a thrilling 1-0 triumph over the Black Stars of Ghana in Ndola.

Before a capacity and voluble 40,000 crowd at the newly constructed Levy Mwanawasa Stadium which was hosting its first match after its commissioning on 2nd June 2012, Katongo netted early in what became the decisive goal.

In an opening minutes which saw the hosts dominate possession and create a trio of excellent scoring opportunities, the Zambian skipper struck on 15 minutes after a neat build up. Felix Katongo provided his elder brother the killer pass which beat Ghanaian goalie Adam Kwarasey for the only goal of the match.

Said Chris in savouring the goal and historic moment: "I am very happy and proud because history has recorded that I was the first player to score in this new stadium. But what is more important is that we won."

Emmanuel Mayuka came close mid way through the first half but he headed off target. Rainford Kalaba blasted his free kick over from the edge of the box while the Zambian skipper failed to convert late on with Kwarasey beaten in a counter attack after a dominant Black Stars spell in the last half hour.

After the break, the Black Stars tried to sparkle as they searched for an elusive equaliser. Ghana captain Sulley Muntari, Agyemang Badu and Jordan Ayew tried to orchestrate a fight back from the centre of the field but the attack led by Dominic Adiyah could not breach the backline of Man of the Match Stoppilla Sunzu, Hichani Himonde and goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.

The victory moved the reigning African champions level on points with Ghana and Sudan who play away to Lesotho on Sunday. After this round of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the games for the race to Brazil resume next year.

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