Herve Renard has saluted Collins Mbesuma after inspiring Zambia to victory in the Nelson Mandela challenge.
Mbesuma scored the games’ lone goal in the 63rd minute just 13 minutes after replacing his ex-Under-23 striking partner Jacob Mulenga in a second half he played about his best football for Zambia in seven years.
“I am very happy for him he has done very well for Pirates and now he has scored for us,” Renard told SuperSport in the post-match interview at Soccer City.
Mbesuma, who has scored four goals so far for his new club Orlando Pirates this season,volleyed in his stronger left foot from outside the box giving goalkeeper Ithumleng Khune no chance.
The Pirates striker benefitted from fellow substitute Mukuka Mulenga of Power Dynamos who laid the ball into the forgotten strikers path to score what would be the winner in a second half Zambia dominated to win their first Mandela Challenge since losing 2-1 to Bafana-Bafana in the inaugural event in 1994.
Mbesuma was denied the chance for a second four minute before fulltime when he was brought down by Bafana captain Bongani Khumalo.
However, Bafana gave Zambia a late scare when Kermit Erasmus’ attempt from close range was cleared by Kennedy Mweene.
The win was also Zambia’s second friendly win post-2012-Gabon after a draw and loss away to Angola and Malawi respectively including a controversial 2-1 home win over Zimbabwe in August that they secured via a late penalty awarded by local referee Jan Sikazwe.