Senegal here we come!
Published On August 30, 2014 » 2640 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Football, Sports
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• ZAMBIA’S Patrick Ngoma is pursued by his Malawian marker Boston Kabango (right) during the Africa Youth Championship (AYC) qualifier match played at Nkoloma stadium in Lusaka yesterday.  Picture by STEPHEN KAPAMBWE

• ZAMBIA’S Patrick Ngoma is pursued by his Malawian marker Boston Kabango (right) during the Africa Youth Championship (AYC) qualifier match played at Nkoloma stadium in Lusaka yesterday.
Picture by STEPHEN KAPAMBWE

By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA and SANDRA MWILA  at Nkoloma Stadium –
Zambia 1 Malawi 0
Aggregate 3-1
ZAMBIA yesterday qualified to the 2015 Africa Youth Championships to be held in Senegal after completing a double over an impressive Malawi in the final round return leg match played in Lusaka.
Needing to avoid defeat to secure passage to Senegal having prevailed 2-1 in Blantyre a fortnight ago, Zambia closed out this match in the 54th minute when Larry Bwalya pressed in calmly from inside the box after some hard work on the right by Charles Zulu.
Bwalya’s goal meant that Malawi needed to score three unanswered goals to pip Zambia to a place at the continental championship.
The Hector Chilombo boys now join a special group of Zambian players who have been to the Africa Under-20 Championship and subsequently qualified to the World Cup finals and going by the balance in the team, they can fancy their chances of qualifying to the New Zealand 2015 World Cup.
This match saw Zambia play like an orchestra conducted by Bwalya in midfield and as he coordinated with the rest of the players, one could hear their brains click.
After a quick start to the game with Zambia seeing more of the ball, Spenser Sautu thought he had found the back of the net scoring off a Patrick Ngoma pass in the 24th minute after sustained pressure but the goal was called back for offside to kill off the frenzied celebrations from the packed Nkoloma Stadium fans.
Six minutes later, a hard working Sautu found himself some shooting chance inside the box and his cracker was met with equal quality from the Malawi’s Brighton Munthali who, like in the first leg, was responsible for keeping the scores respectable.
Malawi then pressed for a goal late in the first half and got three successive corners but the Boyd Mkandawire marshalled defence mopped up the challenge and cleared for a goalless half time score-line.
Realising that shooting from afar might make Munthali a hero, Zambia opted to go behind the Malawian defence and the efforts were rewarded after a dominant start in the second half in 54th minutes when Charles Zulu set up Bwalya.
Bwalya, who also scored in the 2-1 away win, under pressure from three advancing Malawi defenders, calmly controlled the ball before placing it beyond Munthali for the game’s solitary goal.
And realising three goals was what they needed to edge past Zambia, Malawi found the rhythm that has saw them win two away games in these qualifiers and looked dangerous through Chawanangwa Kaonga and Taylor Kalema.
Kaonga actually came closest to getting a leveller as he capped a spell of sustained pressure with a hard but low drive in the 73rd minute which a fully stretched Mangani Banda for a save.
That only reminded Zambia of the danger at hand with two substitutions coming in quick succession to stabilise the game before the hosts played out the game to make the Africa Youth Championship for only a third time.
At the end of the game, Malawian players were left crestfallen as the Zambian players went on to celebrate with the fans a series of choreographed dances.

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