Kennedy Mweene @ Backpagepix
Kennedy Mweene @ Backpagepix

Zambia and Guinea-Bissau share spoils in Afcon qualifier

Zambia and Guinea-Bissau shared spoils as the two sides settled for a goalless draw in a dramatic Group E qualifying match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations played in Ndola on Saturday.

Chipolopolo goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene saw his stoppage time penalty saved by his counterpart Jonas Mended following a handball in the area by substitute Ibrahima So.

The result left the two sides tied on one point apiece with the other two sides in the group, Congo and Kenya, playing each other on Sunday.

Zambia coach George Lwandamina described the start to the campaign as sad.

“It is a sad beginning because we wanted to win this match. Our boys did all they could but we could not get a goal to wrap up the game because our opponents decided to defend in numbers. In short, they packed the bus. But there are lessons to be learnt and we shall make changes where necessary in our next match,” Lwandamina said.

Lwandamina’s counterpart Paulo Torres who was sent to the stands in stoppage time following an altercation with the fourth official said he was happy with the result.

“It is a good result for us because we managed to hold one of Africa’s top teams to a goalless draw. It gives us a good platform to build on and for our players who play in Europe to gain some respect in Africa.

“We are also happy because our team has never qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations so this result will give us confidence for the future,” said Torres.

Zambia’s next match against Kenya is during the weekend of 4th to 6th September, 2015.

The team which finishes top of the group will join twelve group winners the final tournament to be hosted by Gabon in 2017. Two runners-up among four-team groups with the best records will also qualify.