17 July 2017 12:19
Visiting Zambia's 4-0 win left Swaziland deep in the red after the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Kenya 2018 qualifier first leg played at Somhlolo National Stadium on Sunday.
If the home side had thought the four-year old unbeaten home run was going to intimidate the visitors, coach Wedson Nyirenda counted nothing out of the history books with a strong show that reduced the hosts into a mere jaded ensemble.
Swaziland had last lost a match at the Somhlolo National Stadium on 15 November 2013, when they fell 0-3 to South Africa in a friendly. However, a Clatous Chama brace and single strikes courtesy of Brian Mwila and Fackson Kapumbu re-wrote the records scripts.
Chama opened the scorings sheets with a 17th minute beauty that left Sihlangu goalkeeper, Sandile Ginindza, clutching thin air to spark the dominant Zambia fans into a frenzy of celebration.
Tony Tsabedze tried to fight back minutes after but was to miss the upright by mere inches and from the repulsion, Mwila found himself lurking ahead to power home a 26th minute goal that literally sapped away any energy and hope.
Seconds from the breather, Chipolopolo won a penalty which was coolly converted by Chama for his second of the day and Zambia's third but it was Kapumbu's 79th minute curling free kick goal that ejected home fans towards the exit point.
Faced with such a thumping home defeat, Swaziland coach Pieter de Jongh has refused to throw in the towel.
“We played badly and our opponents capitalized on that. We are going to look at our shortcomings, work on them towards salvaging the qualifier,” said De Jongh.
His Zambia counterpart, Nyirenda paid tribute to the fighting spirit among his lads.
“We came here to win. We knew our opponents are tough at home and we had to be alert at all times. This needed tactical discipline and I am happy my boys stuck to our game plan from the first whistle to the last whistle.
“I also have to pay tribute to our fans who cheered all the way to this victory. I didn't know our fans could outnumber the home fans like this. To everyone, the job is now half done and we should brace up for a real fight next week," said Nyirenda.
Zambia host the second leg weekend with the winner facing either South Africa or Botswana at the final round of the Southern Zone qualifiers.
14.07.2017 Juba South Sudan 0-0 Uganda
15.07.2017 Mwanza Tanzania 1-1 Rwanda
15.07.2017 Djibouti Djibouti 1-5 Ethiopia
West Zone A
15.07.2017 Freetown Sierra Leone 1-1 Senegal
15.07.2017 Bakau Gambia 0-0 Mali
15.07.2017 Bissau Guinea Bissau 1-3 Guinea
16.07.2017 Paynesville Liberia 0-2 Mauritania
West Zone B
16.07.2017 Lome Togo 1-1 Benin
15.07.2017 Moroni Comoros 2-0 Lesotho
15.07.2017 Francistown Botswana 0-2 South Africa
16.07.2017 Antananarivo Madagascar 2-2 Mozambique
16.07.2017 Belle Vue Mauritius 0-1 Angola
16.07.2017 Windhoek Namibia 1-0 Zimbabwe
16.07.2017 Lobamba Swaziland 0-4 Zambia