Chipolopolo Edged by Sudan in 5-Goal Thriller
The Chipolopolo boys went down 3-2 to the Falcons of Jediane in a practice match played at Al Hilal Stadium in the scorching heat of Khartoum.
Coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic handed senior national team debut appearances to Lusaka Dynamos defender Makabaniso Magenge and Gregory Sanjase while Isaac Shamujompa got a nod for the first time during the three-match international assignment.
There was also a rare start for Buildcon midfielder-cum defender Golden Mafwenta with Dominic Chanda, Moses Phiri and Prosper Chiluya maintaining places in the starting eleven.
It was a nervous start for the Chipolopolo that saw them fall behind in the sixth minute through a Mohammed Abdelharin shot who slotted home after some sloppy defending from Zambia.
A rampaging Sudan doubled the lead through Athar Altahir with the Chipolopolo defence found wanting again.
The second goal roused Zambia from their slumber and saw some predatory act from the fit-again Brian Mwila who lived up to his marksmanship stature to pull one back.
However, before the Chipolopolo comeback could be fully actualized the Falcons capitalized on an out of position Mwenya Chibwe who had left his line with clever chip by Mohammed Abdallah.
The two sides went into the break with Sudan leading 3-1 prompting some corrective substitutions from Zambia that saw the introduction of Benedict Chepeshi, Salulani Phiri, Paul Katema and Gregory Sanjase replacing Magenge, Mafwenta, Shamende and Chibwe.
With the injection of fresh legs in the Chipolopolo, there was some measure of stability with Zambia looking more composed.
It was not surprising that Mwila added his second in the 85th minute after having bulldozed his way in the box to cleverly lob home and put Zambia within sight of equalizing.
However, the comeback proved elusive in the scorching heat of Khartoum, but the Chipolopolo will be looking to bounce back on Sunday when they face Sudan again albeit in the official FIFA international match.
So far Zambia has played Senegal and Benin and will wind up their FIFA international duty with Sunday’s clash against Sudan.
Sudan is using the Zambia friendly as part of preparations for the FIFA Arab Cup final qualification match with Libya in Doha next week.
The FIFA Arab Cup is a dress rehearsal of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup and will attract participation from 16 countries.