Zambia’s 2020 CHAN and 2021 AFCON qualifiers opponents had a busy September FIFA International Match Week. Here is a wrap of how they fared during the ten-day international break.
Chipolopolo, who were on bye in this months 2022 FIFA World Cup preliminary round qualifiers, were not in action during the same period after their home friendly against South Africa on September 7 in Lusaka was cancelled due to administrative reasons.
Zambia’s 2021 AFCON Group H opponents Botswana and Zimbabwe were both in 2022 FIFA World Cup preliminary round qualifying action.
Botswana were away in Blantyre on Tuesday where they needed a win against Malawi to advance to the group stage following a 0-0 home draw last week.
But it was not to be after Malawi beat them 1-0 to advance via the same aggregate score line.
In Harare, Zimbabwe pulled off a dramatic home victory against Somalia after losing 1-0 away in Djibouti last week.
Zimbabwe beat homeless Somalia 3-1 to advance 3-2 on aggregate in a match that saw all four goals come in the last 15 minutes of the match.
The host s were looking like going out on away goals rule after they were level at 2-2 as the 90th minute struck but Khama Billiat salvaged the vital win in the four minutes added-on with a 92nd minute goal.
Zimbabwe will be Zambia’s second Group H qualifiers opponents whom they will host on November 18 in Lusaka.
But Zambia’s 2020 CHAN qualifier opponents next week, eSwatini, were not that fortunate.
eSwatini are out of the race to Qatar following a 0-0 home draw against Djibouti in Manzini to see the latter make history to advance to their debut FIFA World Cup group stage qualifiers 2-1 on aggregate.
eSwatini now await Zambia on September 21 in their 2020 CHAN final round, first leg qualifier in Manzini.
The final leg is set for October 19 in Lusaka to decide who goes through to the Cameroon finals.
And Zambia’s first opponent in the 2021 AFCON Group H qualifiers on November 11, Algeria beat Benin 1-0 at home in Algiers in a friendly on September 9.
The defending African champions scored the game’s lone via a 71st minute penalty converted by Islam Slimani.
Algeria is currently in talks with Colombia to play in one of two friendlies they are planning for during the October FIFA window before hosting Zambia in November.