Chipolopolo beat Botswana 2-1 in their penultimate Group A game on Tuesday afternoon to record their first win at 2021 COSAFA Cup at Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa.
A Justin Shonga brace kept Chipolopolo’s very slender semifinal hopes alive in Group A.
The victory comes on the back of two successive Group A defeats to Lesotho and Eswatini who beat Zambia 2-1 and 1-0 respectively.
Shonga put Chipolopolo ahead in the 20th minute to send the defending champions 1-0 into the break of what was the holders’ most convincing performance to date at the tournament.
But Botswana made a spirited second half comeback and leveled in the 61st minute through Thatayaone Kgamanyane.
Then Zambia goalkeeper Gregory Sanjase, who started ahead Kennedy Mweene to make his COSAFA Cup debut, denied Tumisang Orebonye a sure goal in the 68th minute after the Botswana striker had left Isaac Shamujompa and Adrian Chama in his wake.
Fortunately for Zambia, they won an 81st minute penalty after Mothusi Johnson clattered Gamphani Lungu.
Shonga stepped up to beat Botswana goalkeeper Ezekiel Morake to earn Zambia’s its first Group A win following a rickety start to their fading COSAFA Cup title defence.
Zambia are back in action tomorrow, Wednesday at 15h00 against Group A leaders South Africa who have qualified to the July 16 semifinals on maximum 9 points.
South Africa trounced Lesotho 4-0 to make it three Group A victories.
Zambia have a slim mathematical chance with a win over Bafana but second placed Eswatini must beat Botswana on Wednesdays to confirm Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic sides’ departure from the COSAFA Cup.
Eswatini have 6 points, Botswana are third on 3 points, level with fourth placed Zambia.