Sudan/Zambia: Sudan Upset Zambia to Reach Last Four

Photo: CAF
Nigeria play Angola in the CHAN 2018 quarter-finals.

Sudan masterminded one of the biggest upsets of the tournament beating favourites Zambia 1-0 on Saturday in Marrakech to reach the semis.

Saifeldin Bakhit scored the only goal on 32 minutes as the Sudanese extended their fairy tale run in the competition.

The highly favoured Zambians were frustrated by the tactically disciplined Sudanese, as they failed to hit the back of the net for the first time, in a game that they needed goals to keep their hopes alive.

The Desert Hawks as the Sudanese are nicknamed got off the better side with Saifeldin, Mohamed Hashim and Maaz Abdelrahman creating problems for the Chipolopolo rear guard.

However, it was the Zambians who had the first chance at goal as a Kondwani Mtonga header from an Adrian Chama corner was met by a sharp response from Sudan goalie Akram El Hadi.

The tide turned and Sudan got the opener two minutes after the half-hour mark after Maaz teed Saifeldin to fire past Zambia goalie Toaster Nsabata for what turned out to be the only goal of the match.

Just before the break, the Sudanese missed a golden chance to strengthen their lead as the partnership of Maaz and Saifeldin came to haunt the Zambians yet again. A long ball from Akram found Saifeldin who outran Chama and squared Maaz, who missed target narrowly with Nsabata at his mercy.

Zambia made their intent clear upon resumption and five minutes past the hour mark, the Sudanese were let off the hook after substitute Friday Samu's connection went off target.

Chipolopolo coach, Wedson Nyirenda, further strengthened his attack by bringing on Jackson Chirwa and Chanda Mushili for John Mwengani and Ernest Mbewe respectively, but their presence could do little towards the scoreline.

Sudan held on to claim victory and cruise to the last four with a date against either Nigeria or Angola.

Total man of the Match: Mohamed Hashim (Sudan)

Reactions

Mohamed Hashim (Total Man of the Match)

It was not an easy game. Our opponent played well and I can say we were luckier. We do not have many expectations and will remain realistic for the next match.

Zdravko Logarusic (Head Coach, Sudan)

It was a difficult game for us. We knew Zambia had quality. I have been in charge for only five weeks, and with piece of luck and some good, we won. Zambia created chances and were just unlucky. The first thing was to put the ball at the back of the net and we succeeded in doing that. Football can be cruel; sometimes you deserve to win, but end up losing. Other times, you deserve to lose, but end up winning.

Zambia played three games and I knew it will be difficult for them to keep the rhythm. Also, fatigue set into their play.

The key thing was that I told the players to put the ball on the ground. That is I why we put extra midfielder just to hold the ball, and allow the ball to do the running.

We knew they were slow at the back and had to wait for the lucky punch.

Now it is Nigeria or Angola at the semis and everything is possible.

For now, let us celebrate tonight and we will see what will happen from tomorrow's game between Nigeria or Angola.

Aggrey Chiyangi (Assistant Coach, Zambia)

It was a tough game. We have lost and the one thing we didn't do was to score. We created many chances but failed to make them count. Playing against Sudan, a team that plays together was going to be difficult. The good thing was that we created chances.

Our mission was to go beyond the quarters and we have failed to achieve that.

We have given up and will be looking forward to the next match It was 50-50 but we failed in certain aspects and did not play the way we expected.

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