SA, Zambia draw in CHAN clash

Mario Booysen © Backpagepix

Zambia came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with hosts South Africa in the first leg of the CHAN qualifier at Buffalo City Stadium on Saturday.

The two teams will meet in the second leg in Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium this coming weekend and from the first leg showing, it would be anyone’s game.

South Africa took the lead through Gift Motupa in the first half and went two goals up early in the second half through captain Mario Booysen but then they allowed Zambia to come back into the game.

Fielding relatively fringe players, coach Stuart Baxter will be pleased at the showing of this young Bafana CHAN team.

Zambia could have taken a fifth minute goal after the Bafana Bafana CHAN defence hesitated to clear in the box. South Africa replied with two quick attacks but they yielded nothing.

Motupa then rifled home a free kick on the 30th minute but Zambia managed to push it for a corner. Moments later Motupa put South Africa ahead from the resultant corner kick after capitalising from a Zambia goalkeeper’s spill and the striker finished the gift with aplomb.

Jamie Webber could have given the home side a 2-0 cushion on the 45th minute but delayed to shoot after being put through by the impressive Dumisani Zuma.

Motupa continued to be a thorn in the flesh for Zambia and in the 49th minute received a pass from Wiseman Meyiwa but his angled shot was well saved by Zambia’s goalkeeper.

That second goal had to come after some sustained pressure when Booysen finished off during a goal mouth scramble following a corner kick by Zuma.

Zambia pulled a goal back following some sloppy marking by the home team as Martin Phiri scored into an empty net with a header to make it 2-1.

Tercious Malepe then got his marching orders on the 89th minutes for a second bookable offense as South ended the match a man down. And that one man advantage started to count for the visitors as first they saw a header narrowly going wide on the 90th minute.

But with the very last kick of the game, Zambia equalised when Augustine Mulenga rifled home a screamer from the edge of the box following a long throw in.

Bafana Bafana starting XI vs Zambia: Bruce Bvuma (GK), Asavela Mbekile, Tercious Malepe, Mario Booysen (C), Sandile Mthethwa, Sibusiso Kumalo, Jabulani Shongwe, Jamie Webber, Ryan Moon, Dumisani Zuma, Gift Motupa

Subs: Steven Hoffman (GK), Menzi Masuku, Siphelele Ntshangase, Linda Mntambo, Wiseman Meyiwa, Thato Lingwati, Masilake Phohlongo