Zambia Suffer First Loss at FIFA World Cup

The Zambia U-20 Men’s Football team suffered their first loss falling 1-0 to Costa Rica in a Group C tie played at Cheonan Sports Complex.

New Zealand referee Matt Conger awarded Costa Rica two penalties and had a Patson Daka goal disallowed late in the match for the African champions to finish on six points.

Zambia still topped the group after Portugal beat Iran 2-1 in the other Group C fixture to finish on four points tied with Costa Rica.

Referee Conger pointed to the spot when Moses Nyondo was cautioned for bringing down Jostin Daly in the box.

Daly stepped up to take the penalty which skipper Mangani Banda saving the initial effort but the Costa Rican got it right on the rebound.

Zambia pressed on but matters took a turn for the worse when Randal Leal won a penalty that was conceded by Ngosa Sunzu in the 65th minute.

Leal stepped up to take the resultant kick that came off the post and was swept away giving the African champions some breathing space.

Zambia had seemed back in the game, when Patson Daka finished off a move that had started with Harrison Chisala charging off the left flank with his effort falling mercifully to Fashion Sakala whose effort came off the cross bar.

Daka lurched on the rebound but his effort was ruled offside after video review by the assistant referee. Zambia will face the best third finishers either in Group A, B or F.

This opens up the possibility of the African champions facing Germany, Argentina or South Korea with a distant chance of playing against the USA, Senegal or Saudi Arabia.

Portugal finishes second with Costa Rica in third place on same points but with an inferior goal difference.