Sports News of Saturday, 9 June 2012
Zambia beat Ghana 1-0 on Saturday afternoon in their second 2014 World Cup qualifying game to make up for their loss against Sudan last week.
Captain Christopher Katongo led a well organised Zambian side that made it impossible for their visitors to break into their defense. The 29-year-old inspirational leader, who was conspicuous in every department of the game, put the Chipolopolo in the lead within 14 minutes of play.
Not even Ghana’s coach, Kwesi Appiah’s three changes could raise the tempo of their game as the reigning African champions dictated the pace of the game throughout with a solid defense to shield goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.
Uncharacteristic of the four-time African champions, the 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists struggled to create decent chances and with a huge home support, coach Herve Renard’s charges exhibited confidence with their structured game plan.
The Copper Bullets stuck to their guns and even with a goal up, made two changes to secure their solitary lead. The west Africans came into the game in the last 10 minutes, but the Zambians packed themselves in defense to consolidate their second win against Ghana this year.
The two sides last met at the semi-final stage of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, where the Black Stars lost by a goal. Ghana still lead Group D with a superior goal difference after having defeated Lesotho 7-0 and Zambia losing against Sudan 2-0.
It is coach Appiah’s first defeat in charge of the Black Stars since he took over in April this year. Zambia’s victory leaves the group open since all three teams – Ghana, Sudan and Zambia – have three points with the Black Stars enjoying goals superiority.