THE Chipolopolo are again a disappointment when they were booted out of the on-going 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup tournament losing 4-2 on post-match penalties to Swaziland in a quarter-final match played at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek yesterday.
Swaziland booked their maiden COSAFA plate to face South Africa in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Skipper Buchizya Mfune and striker Patson Daka converted their spot-kicks, but Zambia’s victory was hampered by Paul Katema and Spencer Sautu whose penalties were saved by Swazi goal keeper Nhlanhla Gwebu.
Despite Zweli Nkhumalo opening the spot kicks on a disappointing note with his shot hitting the post, Tony Tsabedze, Wonder Nhleko and Gwebu converted their spot kicks to aid Swaziland to semi-finals.
Zambia started the game on a low note with Swaziland enjoying a fair share on target but goalkeeper Danny Munyao equal to the task.
The tempo was raised after 20 minutes of play with Festus Mbewe’s shot blocked by Swazi goalkeeper Ginindza Sindile.
Swaziland almost took the lead in the 30th minute when Felix Badenhorst goal was disallowed for an off-side.
On 40th minute, Zambia almost opened the scores when Paul Katema’s cracker shot from outside the box was parried away.
In second half, the two teams produced blunt shots on target with Zambia’s clear chance coming in the 49th minute when Conlyde Luchanga’s shot hit the post but Mbewe’s soft rebound was saved.
Zambia’s technical bench substituted striker Conlyd Luchanga for Patson Daka who has been struggling to score at Power Dynamos again replicated a poor show. The substitute Spencer Sautu was also a dummy as he failed to give Zambia the winning goal.
Both teams continued to press for a winning goal but luck was not on any one’s side as the match had to be decided on penalties.
Zambian assistant coach Aggrey Chiyangi said the boys failed to utilise chances and lacked experience since it was their first match.
“It is unfortunate that we have lost this game. The boys failed to score in regular time and hence cost us. But again this was our first game at the tournament and Swaziland has played three games already. It is indeed sad,” he said.
FAZ committee member and Chipolopolo delegation leader Dr Joseph Mulenga had promised the Zambians the COSAFA Cup and categorically stated that failure was not part of his journey in life.