THE Zambia Under-17 soccer team yesterday brought back smiles on the handful of fans that turned up at Nkoloma Stadium after beating Uganda to remain 90 minutes away from earning qualification to the Niger 2015 Africa Junior Championship.
Goals in either half by skipper Paston Daka and Edwin Chipile secured Zambia the victory over a Ugandan side that had scored seven past Seychelles in the last round.
But despite Zambia carrying a comfortable two-goal caution heading into the return fixture, coach Chris Kaunda was left unsatisfied saying the team needed to work hard in two weeks time.
“These are still kids, they made mistakes but this is something we can work on. For now we cannot celebrate because we have just gone into half time and we need to finish the job in Uganda,” Kaunda said.
Uganda coach Matia Lule refused to concede defeat accusing Zambia of age cheating.
“The days had not been ours, we created many chances but we shall finish the job in Uganda. We had a tactic going into this game but again and I am saying maybe the MRI scan is different from ours in Uganda,” he said.
Daka scored from inside the box with a thunderbolt shot to give Zambia the lead after connecting a Enock Mwepu teasing pass in the 27th minute.
Zambia was given a scare as Uganda almost equalised three minute later through Mohammad Shabin who missed a golden opportunity inside the box after failing to connect that ball that came off a crossbar effort just before half time.
Chipile doubled Zambia’s aantage in the 60th minute after heading in a Musonda Siame well taken corner to give the Chris Kaunda side some breathing space.
That goal seemed to have rejuvenated the Ugandans who abandoned their delaying tactics in search of a goal knowing the uphill battle that awaits them if they are to overturn this result and qualify.
Uganda almost reduced the deficit but goalkeeper Danny Sikanyika made a good save in the 72nd minute.
The visitors again attacked in the 80th minute through Timothy Willy but his effort had to be cleared off the line by an alert Sikanyika.
Zambia could have put icing on the cake with a third goal but a counter attack by Daka and Mwepu was ruled for offside.
Zambia started the match on a faster note in search of those goals with Prosper Chilufya forcing a save from Erick Kibowa for a corner in the seventh minute while Daka effort was spilled by Kibowa but Mwepu failed to score from the rebound.
Edwin Chipile then missed from inside the box after he was set up by a hard working Mwepu in the 17th minute while Siame was unlucky when his freekick was saved by the goalkeeper in the 52nd minute.
Alex Komakech tested the Zambian goal in the 58th minute but as always Sikanyika was on guard to save the ball for a corner.
Zambia 2 Uganda 0
Source : The Times of Zambia