Wedson Nyirenda has schooled Zambia in the art of Catenaccio after finishing 1-1 with a very fortunate Cameroon away in Limbe to put their 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B qualifying campaign back on the road lifting them from bottom to third on the log.
The draw came a month after Nyirenda and Zambia’s relationship began with a 2-1 home loss to Nigeria in their opening Group B match in Ndola on October 9.
Meanwhile, Nyirenda started with tight backline that was complemented by a stout midfield in front of that defence manned by Misheck Chaila and Kondwani Mtonga in the absence of injured mainstay Nathan Sinkala.
Collins Mbesuma put Zambia ahead against the run of play in the 33rd minute off a Rainford Kalaba threaded pass from a well-worked set-piece.
The match also marked Zanaco’s defender Ziyo Tembo international debut and he didn’t disappoint while his club mate Fackson Kapumbu was outstanding at leftback.
However, Kapumbu’s day was spoilt with a dubious ball to hand in the 45th minute that referee referee Malang Diedhiou of Senegal adjudged to be a handball.
Striker Vincent Aboubakar stepped up to take the resultant penalty to send Kennedy Mweene the wrong way.
Mtonga then had a great opportunity in the 59th minute to put Zambia ahead again but the Zesco United midfielder’s’ volley was parried by Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa.
Zambia then defended resolutely with an injured Kennedy Mweene struggling after the 66th minute groin injury en route to picking up a vital one point on the road and see Nyirenda stay unbeaten for a second straight match.
Chipolopolo, on one point, will now face bottom placed Algeria at home next August.
Second Cameroon have two points and travel to leaders Nigeria who beat Algeria 3-1 at home in the late kickoff.