Benin, Zambia settle for 2-2 draw
The Chipolopolo boys were held to a 2-all draw by the Squirrels of Benin in an international friendly match played at the Mathieu Kerekou Stadium in Cotonou.
Benin got in the front seat in the 13th minute following a breakdown in the Zambian defence that saw Cibrio Soukou slice his way through the Chipolopolo backline before unleashing a low shot that beat Cyril Chibwe.
Chibwe looked helplessly as Pual Katema and Tandi Mwape were overrun by Sokou to excite the sizeable Beninese crowd.
Sensing danger the Chipolopolo picked up pace and were duly rewarded in the 18th minute through a Salulani Phiri shot.
Phiri was teed up by Roger Kola with the Polokwane City hard man making no mistake.
The hosts nearly got back in front almost immediately when Dossou Jodel and Pote Mickail combined well before Mwape thwarted their threat.
Zambia piled pressure on the home side as the first half wore on and were awarded a corner after a Salulani Phiri shot was spilled for a corner Allagbe.
Spencer Sautu who was running himself hard took the corner that fell to Dominic Chanda who played it the box for Mwape to finish it off and send Zambia 2-1 up into the second half.
At half time Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic withdrew Prince Mumba for Collins Sikombe as he sought to strengthen his attack through the middle.
The two sides continued taunting each other with Zambia looking comfortable with a 2-1 lead.
However, the Squirrels had other ideas as they salvaged a goal from an innocuous looking freekick that was taken by Soukou and saw Yohan Roche finish it off after an initial Pote header was parried by Chibwe.
Micho threw in Kings Kangwa, Brian Mwila and Golden Mafwenta for Spencer Sautu, Roger Kola and Phiri in an attempt to reinvigorate his side.
In the end the two sides settled for a draw with Zambia improving on their 3-1 loss in Saturday’s match to Senegal.
The Chipolopolo will now head to Sudan for Friday’s friendly match in Omdurman.
Micho is using the friendly games to widen the pool of players ahead of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that commence in September.