Zambia has finished top of Group C despite losing 1-0 to Costa Rica in controversial fashion on Saturday at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup.

The African champions conceded a soft penalty, survived a saved spot kick while a disallowed goal conspired against Zambia as New Zealand referee Matt Conger stole the show on the day.

Meanwhile, Ngosa Sunzu who was making his Under-20 debut saw his 7th minute long range shot parry by Erick Pineda in a frantic start on both ends.

Then Zambia were 1-0 down in the opening quarter after they conceded a dubious penalty in the 15th minute when Prosper Chiluya and Jimmy Marin clashed in a late challenge for the ball.

Jostin Daly stepped up to the the penalty that was parried by Mangani Banda but the Costa Rica striker made amends on the rebound to hand them the lead.

Zambia continued to dominate Costa Rica but poor finishing by them also played a major part in suffering their first loss at the tournament.

Costa Rica then won a second penalty in the 65th minute when Randall Leal was pushed by Sunzu.

Leal was denied by the post to keep the scoreline narrow but the drama didn’t end there.

Daka then thought poetic justice had been served in the 88th minute but Conger cancelled the goal after seeking a second opinion from the video referee.

Zambia, though, move onto the last 16 on 6 points,two more than second placed Portugal and Costa Rica who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Portugal face hosts South Korea on May 30 while England are Costa Rica prospective last 16 suitors.

Zambia await the outcome of Sunday’s Group F matches to know their opponents with Germany currently the best 3rd placed side on the prospective list of sides from Groups A,B and F.

Argentina have 3 points from Group A and Germany have 4points from Group B.

But there is all to play for in a tight Group F with USA (4 points), Senegal (3), Saudi Arabia (3) and Ecuador (1) in action on Sunday in their final pool matches.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. The Zambian lads walked onto the pitch as if they had already won the match(over confident without respect for the opposition). this was the same attitude in the first half against Iran. if this attitude is not checked, the next game will be our last at this tournament.

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    • Anita,
      They have already qualified.. (2pts advantage) No need to play at full strength.
      Knock Out stage is the next step NOT to underrate the opponent otherwise no match for them thereafter.

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  2. For Zambia, this was merely a practice session – just another friendly. Costa Rica needed a face saver. They got it, if not by hook and crook.

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  3. It’s good we saw new players. And the boys never wanted to make body contact as they were thinking of the next game. Boyd,Enock, patson and Fashion all wanted to reserve their bodies for the next game.Which is normal for any player.

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  4. This is a lesson for the next game. I hope the technical bench has a master plan for such kind of referees

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  5. Infact we need a tactician to drill the boys on how play with these referees. Even the Iran game the referee was bad. I even thought the checking on TV for final decision is over. But yesterday against Zambia it has worked. However, the boys put in they could on that day with no pressure. We just lost and we take the game as a lesson with many sub topics. 1. Defenders & everyobe else who are always found in the 18 box should be cautious of diving opponents. 2. Defenders are clouding in the 18 box leaving strikers on wings free to cross in balls. 3. The last man in defence has no pace so he should not be square with the opponent top man. 4. We are poor on short pieces; had more than 8 corner kicks bur no near goal. In a few hours remaining, lets train the boys on how to position for a…

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  6. I found this New Zealand referee unfair and too strict for Zambia, maybe he’s racist.

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