Rainford Kalaba @ SS com
Rainford Kalaba @ SS com

Kampamba's late goal seals Zambia's victory

Ronald Kampamba's 78th minute goal earned Zambia a 1 - 0 win over Cape Verde in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match played at Levy Mwanawasa on Wednesday.

The 21-year forward who had a subdued evening set the stadium alight with a clinical finish from the top of the area after he was found unmarked with a pass from Emmanuel Mayuka.

This Group F fixture featured two teams that had already secured qualification to the finals tournament and was seen as a grudge match for Zambia to avenge the 2-1 defeat suffered in Praia two months ago.

After a goalless first half, it was Nathan Sinkala who came closest to opening the scoring when he struck the woodwork with his effort from a free kick in the 72nd minute.

However, Kampamba was not denied six minutes later to ensure that Zambia finished the qualification round on a high note with eleven points, one adrift of Cape Verde.

The victory also meant that Zambia finished the qualification round with a third consecutive win and as the only team to have recorded one defeat, conceding two goals while scoring six in the process.

Despite the victory Chipolopolo coach Honor Janza said his team was still work in progress.

"Our process of combining young players with their more experienced counterparts started late so it has taken time for them to gel; but the team is ready to compete. The combination of youth and experience is giving us hope that the team will be ready before the finals tournament kicks-off in Equatorial Guinea," he said.

Janza added that the criticism of the team's poor start to the qualification round by the fans rubbed off positively on the team.

"That criticism was not in bad faith. Chipolopolo fans are used to winning and they wanted good results. It is because of that criticism that we kept planning and stayed focused."

And Cape Verde coach Rui Aguas said that the manner in which the two teams competed on Wednesday was testimony that they both deserved to qualify.

"We considered Zambia as a strong opponent but we worked hard to qualify. The way we played today has proved to all that Zambia and Cape Verde deserve to go to Equatorial Guinea," Aguas said.

Zambia goes into residential camp in December to prepare for the January 17 to February 8 tournament.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) will conduct the draw for the final tournament on November 26.

The teams that have qualified are Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (hosts), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia.

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Date: 27/05/2017 Time: 10:00 Fifa U20 World Cup Costa Rica 1 0 Zambia Cheonan Sports Complex
Date: 24/05/2017 Time: 10:00 Fifa U20 World Cup Zambia 4 2 Iran Jeju Stadium
Date: 21/05/2017 Time: 07:00 Fifa U20 World Cup Zambia 2 1 Portugal Jeju Stadium
Date: 12/11/2016 Time: 17:00 World Cup qualifying - Africa Cameroon 1 1 Zambia
Date: 09/10/2016 Time: 14:30 World Cup qualifying - Africa Zambia 1 2 Nigeria Levy Mwanawasa Stadium
Date: 04/09/2016 Time: 16:30 Afcon 2017 Qualifiers Zambia 1 1 Kenya
Date: 24/06/2016 Time: 18:00 2016 Cosafa Cup Zambia 0 1 Namibia Sam Nujoma Stadium
Date: 21/06/2016 Time: 18:00 2016 Cosafa Cup Lesotho 2 3 Zambia Sam Nujoma Stadium
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