2017 Zambia Footballer of the Year Augustine Mulenga fired a brace to send Chipolopolo to the 2018 CHAN quarterfinals.
Mulenga struck in each half in a 2-0 win over Cote d’Ivoire on Thursday night in Marrakech to live up his title as Zambia’s best player.
The Zanaco midfielder took his tally to three goals from two games after scoring one against Uganda in Sunday’s 3-1 win over The Cranes at the same venue.
Mulenga silenced The Elephants in the 7th minute after Cote d’Ivoire who came flying out of the blocks in the first five minutes as they tried to unsettle Zambia.
The midfielder finished a fine pass from Lazarus Kambole from an unmarked position to put Zambia ahead.
Mulenga was almost provider in the 30th minute but his assist for Ernest Mbewe saw his club mate send his header off the post.
Cote d’Ivoire’s best chance came in a modest second half when striker Mel William Togui’s right footed shot went marginally wide of the right post.
But Mulenga left the best for last in the 75th minute when he waltz past four Ivoirians players to seal the points for Zambia.
Zambia stay in firm command of Group B on maximum 6 points and head into the January 27 quarterfinals with a match to spare.
Cote d’Ivoire’s campaign is over after two successive defeats following last Sundays 1-0 loss to Namibia.
Zambia face Namibia on January 22 looking up in Casablanca for a win that will see then win Group B and take them back to Marrakech for their last eight tie next Saturday.
Namibia, on 3 points, are in action this evening in Marrakech against Uganda who need to win to avoid joining Cote d’Ivoire on the early flight out of Morocco.