The Zambia U-23 men’s national football team played out a goalless draw against Nigeria a 2015 All-Africa Games qualification match played at Abuja National Stadium on Sunday.
Nigeria was on the front foot for a larger part of the match with Etebo Oghenekaro and Ajayi Oluwafemi terrorising the Zambian defence at will but goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata was in inspired form to keep out four clear chances by the two forwards.
Etebo clipped the crossbar with an acrobatic effort in the 18th minute while Ajayi could have opened the scoring in the 25th minute but he sent his effort wide from inside the box.
Coach Fighton Simukonda was happy with the result and toldfazfootball.com in a post-match interview that there was still work to be done in the second leg scheduled for April 11.
“We have done our best in avoiding defeat away from home. We still have the second leg. I know it won’t be easy but we have no choice but to deliver,” Simukonda said.
Zambia will need an outright victory against Nigeria’s Dream Team in the second leg to qualify for the 11th edition of the All Africa Games to be hosted by Congo in September.
Nigeria: Daniel Emmanuel, Sincere Muenfuh Seth, Amuzie Stanley, Azubuike Okechukwu, Oduduwa Segun Tope, Erhun Obanor (Capt), Tiongoli Tonbara, Etebo Oghenekaro, Ajayi Oluwafemi, Muhammed Usman, Godwin Saviour.
Zambia: Toaster Nsabata; Changala Chishimba, Boyd Mkandawire, Billy Mutale, Kayawe Kapota; Salulani Phiri, Julius Situmbeko, Shadreck Malabo, John Chingandu; Patrick Ngoma, Ronald Kampamba.
Subs: Kenny Mumba, Spencer Sautu, Spencer Ngalande, Bernard Mapili, Moses Phiri, Larry Bwalya, Nsofwa Mwansa