Ten-man Zambia were held to a one all draw against hosts Lesthoto, in a group C World Cup group phase qualifier. In-form Orlando Pirates striker, Collins Mbesuma gave the Zambians the headed lead in the 69th minute from an Isaac Chansa corner kick.
The former African champions failed to impose their game on the hosts who kept their back line solid for most of the game. Zambia tried hard to press for an early lead through wing enterprising play on the right flank where new call-up Fwayo Tembo gave the sotho backline a torrid time.
Lesthoto could have snatched an early lead when they broke through the Zambian defence in the 16th minute with some neat one-two passes but only to shoot just wide.
The first half ended goaless.
Zambia pushed men upfront in the early minutes of the first half in search for the crucial opener, but still could not breakdown the Sotho resolute defence. The hosts mounted a cleverly worked counter attack in the 54th minute when Isaac chansa was dispossessed on the edge of the box. Mojela Letsie got to the end of a long pass to out-pace the out-of-form Stophilla Sunzu,but goalie Kennedy Mweene read the move well and professionally blocked the quick-paced striker, for a straight red card.
Despite having to play the match with ten men for the last half hour, Zambia kept on pushing for the opener. Zambia was awarded their seventh corner which Isaac Chansa took with precision. Collins Mbesuma rose in the air and powered a header past the out of position Sotho goal keeper to score the much needed opener. The home side piled pressure on the Zambians after that goal.
Coach Herve Renard made a change by resting Mbesuma for Jonas Sakuwaha, a move that backfired as the Sothos pushed more men upfront after the striker they feared the most, was removed.
Their efforts paid off when a solo run by striker Litsepe Marabe cut through two defenders to the edge of the box and unleashed a left footed shot that gave reserve goalkeeper Joshua Titima no chance, to level the scores, in the 88th minute. Zambia now lead the group with Seven points and Lesthoto has two points with three games to play.
Meanwhile on the local scene, Magnificent Kabwe Warriors recorded their first win of the new FAZ super league season when they beat host Power Dynamos 1-0 at Arthur Davis Stadium in Kitwe in a match that was beamed live on Super Sport 9.
A 44th minute goal by veteran striker Musonda Mweuke was all that Kabwe Warriors needed to beat Power Dynamos who are coached by former Kabwe Warriors’ teenage winger of 1978 to 1981, Beston Chambeshi. Warriors now have three points from two games played so far.
This was the first visit to Kitwe for the Kabwe giants, after spending last season in the lower division.