The Sables, who are still to win the Africa Cup, bowed out of this year’s competition without a win after playing a 22-22 draw against surprise packages Madagascar at Harstfield ground in Bulawayo last month.
Zimbabwe’s defeat in Lusaka also meant the Sables finished bottom of the three-team group while Madagascar, who beat the Zambians in Antananarivo,
emerged the winners and will now proceed to the second round of the competition.
According to reports from Lusaka, Zambia took an early lead when Noble Chisanga scored a drop kick five minutes into the game taking a 3-0 lead.
Zimbabwe replied with a penalty try after Zambia skipper Musonda Kaminsa fouled Zimbabwe wing Lloyd Marwati and Happison Nyatanga made no mistake
from the resultant kick.
That conversion thrust the Sables into a 7-3, which they hung onto until the break.
But after both sides missed valuable kicks in the opening half in which Zambia’s Kaminsa and Zimbabwe’s Paul Staak were the main culprits, the hosts
brought the scoreline to 7-6 through a Chisanga penalty.
Staak then made it 10-6 with another penalty conversion but Zambia were kept in the picture by Kaminsa’s drop-kick, which made it 10-9.
Staak’s penalty was to be the last time that Zimbabwe registered points on the scoreboard as the hosts seized the initiative.
It was Kaminsa who again returned to haunt the Sables when he killed off the match after planting Zambia’s only try in the dying stages of the game.
Kaminsa benefited from Tom Chalobi’s pass after the latter had produced a good run deep into the Sables territory.
Although Kaminsa failed to convert, his try assured the Zambians of a consolation victory, which also helped them to avoid the Group’s wooden spoon.
Zambia technical advisor, South African Dumisani Mhani told the media in Zambia that although they had won the game, the Sables had given his charges a tough time all afternoon.
Mhani said he would not read much into the group standings as his goal was to build a strong side that would blend youth and experience.
Sables mentor Chris Lampard could not be reached for comment yesterday as he was understood to be still on his way from Lusaka after leaving the Zambian capital late in the day. Zimbabwe’s failure to register a win in this year’s competition highlights the Sables’ free fall as the senior team now resemble a caricature of the senior side that lost to old enemies Namibia in the 2004 final. Meanwhile, Zambia and Zimbabwe’s Under-21 sides fought a low-scoring 3-3 battle that preceded their seniors’ match.
Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News