Chipolopolo miss AFCON qualification again
By Mercy Chewe
Zambia’s dream of going to the Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations is finally over after Thursday night’s 3-3 home draw against African champions Algeria in the Group H match played in Lusaka.
Chipolopolo have now missed out on the Africa Cup qualification for a third time in a row.
On the way to forcing a draw at Heroes Stadium, the visitors led 2-0 inside the first 25 minutes with goals from Ramiz Ghezzal and Islam Slimani.
Zambia striker Patson Daka reduced the deficit to 2-1 going into the half time break when converting a 33rd minute penalty after he was fouled in the box.
Seven minutes after the restart midfielder Clatous Chama headed in the equaliser from Augustine Mulenga’s cross but three minutes later the Algerians were back in the driving seat with Slimani completing his brace.
Daka rescued Zambia from a home loss when making it 3-3 from another penalty after referee Ali Adelaid from Comoros awarded a second penalty on the night when Moses Phiri was fouled in the Algerian box.
Zambia were denied a winning goal in the 86th minute when Daka saw his close range strike ruled out for offside after a nice build up.
After this draw, Algeria, who have already qualified for the AFCON, stay top of Group H on 11 points while Zambia remain bottom with four points from five matches.
Second placed Zimbabwe moved to eight points following their 1-0 win over Botswana earlier on Thursday evening away in Gaborone.
Zambia faces Zimbabwe in the last group match on Monday away in Harare in a formality game on the same day Algeria will be hosting Botswana in North Africa.