Zambia suffered a major setback at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Sunday in their already uphill battle in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers after losing 2-1 at home in Nigeria.
The defeat was a massive blow for new coach Wedson Nyirenda on his debut as Zambia coach as Chipolopolo suffered their third loss in Ndola in over 52 years.
Goals in the first half from Nigeria’s EPL stars Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho in the 36th and 45th minutes handed them the 3 points in a first half they were in cruise control.
Both goals benefited from some amateur defending from Green Buffaloes defender Adrian Chama as memories of Zambia’s 3-2 away loss to Guinea Bissau in June quickly came flowing back.
He was replaced in the 46th minute by Kondwani Mtonga and that brought some professionalism to the Zambia backline.
Zambia meanwhile were the better side after the break led by Fwayo Tembo, Chisamba Lungu and Collins Mbesuma but for all their domination in that period, only had one chance converted.
The goal came in the 70th minute from Mbesuma who put his foot to the end of Fwayo’s cross to give the scoreline some respectability.
Zambia now turn their focus to cameroon whom they visit on November 7 as their seek to rebound from a painful home defeat.