STRIKERS Festus Mbewe and Bornwell Mwape each scored a brace as Zambia thrashed whipping boys Somalia to top Group B at the GOtv CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup to avoid playing pre-tournament favourites Sudan or Uganda.
It was a dominant performance by Zambia that left coach Patrice Beaumelle a pleased man as his side easily sailed through to the quarter-finals, also thanks to Tanzania’s 1-0 win over Burundi in an early kick off.
Tanzania’s win meant that Zambia had qualified to the last eight and what remained for the Chipolopolo was to score as many goals as possible over Somalia to top the group. Tanzania will thus play the winner of Group C between Uganda or Sudan.
Zambia took the lead in the second minute after Bonwell Mwape, who was preferred ahead of Reynolds Kampamba, pounced on a loose ball after Somali goalkeeper Mohammed Sherif spilled a Felix Katongo cross inside the box.
Festus Mbewe then doubled the lead two minutes later after he cleverly lobby the ball over an ascending sheriff after connecting a Justin Zulu pass in a half that Zambia would have scored a cricket score line to finish off the game.
Mwape scored his brace in the 55th minute after finishing off another Katongo pass at the edge of the goal as the Somalia little resistance that was showed early in the second half was completely killed.
Mbewe, who won the man-of-the-match award, was back on target in the 69th minute courtesy of another Sheriff mistake again spilling the ball after his defenders failed to properly clear a Kabaso Chongo well-executed corner giving the Zambian striker an easy chance to score.
Beaumelle made changes in his starting line-up bringing in Joshua Titima in goal replacing Toaster Nsabata, who had started the opening two games with Reynolds Kampamba also dropping to the bench in preference for Mwape.
“This victory should send a signal that Zambia should not be underrated and we can now go all the way and win it. It was a tough game but I am happy I contributed to winning the match,” Mbewe said.
Somalia coach Mohammed Farayare summed up the match by saying; “it’s sad the better team lost and the bad team won”.
Times of Zambia