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2008 Africa Cup of Nations
Zambia too good for Sudan
Zambia get their African Cup off to a great start with a 3-0 win over Sudan.
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2008 21:41 GMT
Sudan's Gibril Alaeldin Ahmed, right, couldn't stop Zambia's Jacob Mulenga, left, from scoring [AFP]
Zambia secured a comfortable 3-0 win over spritied Sudan in the battle of the Group C outsiders in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
 
The Chipolopolo, as the Zambian team are known, took the lead through James Chamanga after just two minutes, and added a second five minutes after the break through Jacob Mulenga.
Felix Katongo further punished poor defending by Sudan when he slotted home a third goal in the 59th minute after Sudanese goalkeeper Abdalla Elmuez failed to hold on to a Rainford Kalaba shot.
The 3-0 win puts Zambia on top of Group C after defending champions Egypt defeated four-time champions Cameroon 4-2 earlier in the day.
 
After taking the lead, the southern Africans, who were without star striker Chris Katongo through suspension, pressed on as the in-form Chamanga combined well with Felix Katongo in the ninth minute only for the latter's shot from the top of the box to scream across the face of goal.
 
Badr Eldin's scorching effort from 25 metres nearly got Sudan an equaliser after 12 minutes, but it cannoned off the woodwork with goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene well beaten.
 
Zambia looked impressive with some quick passes and movement by their fleet-footed forwards, spearheaded by the exciting Mulenga, and often had the Sudan back four in trouble.
 
However solid Sudan defender Ritshard Jastein proved a steadying influence for his team, who are making their first Nations Cup finals appearance in 32 years.
 
Sudan improve, but can't score
 
Sudan found their bearings the longer the match went on, and began to take control of the midfield as they strung passes together and could have drawn level on 29 minutes but for Gibril Alaedin to hit his shot into the stands when it would have been easier to score.
 
Sudanese forward Faisat Agab's bouncing header on 48 minutes produced a finger-tip save from Mweene but Katongo responded for Zambia almost immediately as Elmuez was forced to stretch his giant frame before he could push the ball out for a corner.
 
Mulenga headed home from the resultant set piece for Zambia's second goal of the night before Katongo added a third with a neat tap-in.
 
Mweene was forced to produce an unusual punch-out of Jasteine's 66th minute freekick as Sudan continued to mount pressure for a deserved consolation goal, but time and again they were denied.
 
Sudan next play Egypt, while Zambia play Cameroon in what is shaping up to be an interesting Group C match.
Source:
Agencies
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