African Cup of Nations - Zambia shock lacklustre Senegal
Zambia provided the second shock of the night in the African Cup of Nations, as they beat Senegal 2-1 in the Group A match at the Estadio de Bata, in Equatorial Guinea.
The Zambians took the lead in the 13th minute, when an unmarked Emmanuel Mayuka headed past Bouna Coundoul, after Senegal had failed to clear a back post header from Chisamba Lungu’s chip into the area.
Senegal were playing a very high line against the speedy Zambia front three, and were caught out by the tactic as they conceded the second goal on 21 minutes, when Rainford Kalaba was able to round Senegal goalkeeper Coundoul and stroke the ball into the net.
Ludovic Sane was particularly culpable as he played Kalaba onside as he ran on to Felix Katongo’s pass.
Senegal were much more potent and disciplined in the second half, and pulled a goal back through first-half substitute Dame N'Doye.
Guirane N'Daw's chipped free-kick over Nyambe Mulenga was inch-perfect, and the FC Copenhagen striker beat Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene at his near post with a low shot.
Zambia had made the running from the earliest moments of the game, and almost took the lead in the fifth minute after a short corner on the right that left the Senegal defence napping. However, Katongo shot well wide from the left channel.
Having taken advantage of the flat-footed Senegal defence twice in the first quarter of the game, Zambia might have been expected to sit back.
But they were relentless on the break, and Mayuka forced a good save low to his left from Coundoul after running forcefully at Souleymane Diawara.
Senegal rattled Herve Renard’s side in the second half, with substitute Issiar Dia prominent.
Papiss Cisse came on for Senegal midway through the second period, and was mostly anonymous save for one beautiful bit of skill.
Picking the ball up on the right, the new Newcastle signing chipped the ball over a Zambia defender before driving an irresistible ball to the far post.
However, his new club-mate Demba Ba could only hit the crossbar with his diving header.
Having conceded the goal to N'Doye in the 74th minute, Zambia were content to hold on to what they had, and tried to break up the flow of the game with numerous niggly fouls and attempts to waste time.
Nonetheless, Senegal did make one more chance, and Zambia were indebted to their goalkeeper Mweene in injury-time, when he bravely saved at the feet of Dia.
Equatorial Guinea earlier pulled off a major shock in the group's other game by beating Libya with an 87th minute Javier Balboa goal.