2 September 2017

Zambia/Algeria: Zambia Down Algeria for First Win

Photo: CAF
Zambia's Chipolopolo (file photo).

Zambia beat Algeria 3-1 at home in Lusaka on Saturday to end their losing jinx in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against 'Les Fennecs' and give a breather of hope to ther ambitions of reaching the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

A brace from Brian Mwila and late strike by second half substitute Enock Mwepu handed 10-man Zambia a much needed lift after a win-less run from the previous two games.

Algeria came into the match with a 100 per cent winning run against Zambia from four previous World Cup qualifying encounters.

The win handed Zambia its first victory in Group B and lifted them to second on four points, five behind runaway leaders Nigeria.

Mwila put Zambia ahead in the 6th minute when he headed in Augustine Mulenga's cross.

Mulenga could have added at least two more from attempts in the 12th and 17th minutes that went begging.

Mwila calmed Zambia in the 32nd minute when he completed his brace after Algeria goalie Rais Mbolhi parried Fashion Sakala's ball into his path and the striker made no mistake on the rebound.

Algeria though came back stronger after the break and got their lucky break in the 52nd minute when Yacine Brahimi rifled in an unstoppable volley.

Three minutes later, Zambia were reduced to ten men when Fashion Sakala was sent off for a second booking.

Algeria smelt blood but Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene was alert to danger and made a critical save in the 78th minute to deny Islam Slimani just four minutes after the latter sent his shot narrowly wide.

Mwepu then put the result beyond reach in the 88th minute when his low shot from wide on the right from outside the box beat Mbolhi.

Meanwhile, wounded Algeria regroup immediately for Zambia whom they host in Constantine on September 5.

Algeria stay bottom of Group B on 1 point from three game and are a point behind 3rd placed Cameroon who lost 4-0 away to Nigeria in the other Group B clash earlier on Friday in Uyo.


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