Zambia’s 2018 CHAN dream turned into a nightmare on Saturday night when Sudan eliminated them from the tournament in Morocco.
Sudan beat Zambia 1-0 in Marrakech to send Chipolopolo out at the quarterfinal stage for a second successive outing.
Guinea did the same at Rwanda 2016 in Zambia’s second CHAN tournament appearance.
Meanwhile, the spotlight on lethargic Zambia fell on Nkana central defender John Mwengani.
Mwengani was making his tournament debut as coach Wedson Nyirenda shuffled his backline after right back Simon Silwimba missed the match to serve a one match suspension following two cards he accrued in the group stages.
Mwengani partnered Ziyo Tembo while the latter’s regular partner Adrian Chama was shifted into Silwimba’s position.
However, Mwengani who had enjoyed an outstanding 2017 season at Nkana after joining from Forest Rangers instead endured a Zambia debut he will never forget.
It was through him that Sudan scored the game’s lone goal in the 32nd minute when he was turned in-side-out by Maki Saifeldin before leaving the defender in his wake.
Mwengani’s day almost turned from bad to worse in the 49th minute when he nearly conceded an own-goal.
Fortunately the football gods spared him another embarrassment and decided to guide the ball out for a corner- and two minutes later- he was replaced by Jack Chirwa.
Meanwhile, Zambia’s best chance of the game came in the 54th minute through Lazarus Kambole.
But Kambole hesitated to deal with a fine layoff from Ernest Mbewe in front of an inviting goal as Zambia stuttered to the finish line in disjointed fashion to bow out of CHAN.