Collins Mbesuma more than made his point as he returned to the Zambian side in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at the weekend, delivering three precious points after a slow start to the campaign.
He was not the only Mpumalanga Black Aces player to score as Limbikani Mzava netted an own goal for a second successive qualifier as Malawi drew 2-2 in Swaziland.
Zambia, with Kennedy Mweene again in goal, went a goal down to Kenya in Nairobi but came storming back for a 2-1 win, with Mbesuma the hero. He had been a surprise call-up after being discarded during the last Afcon qualifying campaign.
Former South African footballer of the year Ernest Mtawali made his debut as coach of his native Malawi in the match against Swaziland at the Somhlolo Stadium.
The Flames took the lead early on through new Bidvest Wits signing Gerald Phiri.
Swaziland equalised as Mzava put one in his own net, as he had against Zimbabwe. Malawi went ahead again, this time through Chiukepo Msowoya, formerly of Orlando Pirates and Platinum Stars, but Swaziland pulled level just after the hour mark to put a dampener on Mtawali’s debut.
“We should have won the match,” the ex-Bloemfontein Celtic, Mamelodi Sundowns and Pirates midfield genius told reporters afterwards. “We gave away the lead twice and they were easy goals.”
Zimbabwe and Swaziland are top of the standings with four points each after Zimbabwe were held 1-1 at home by Guinea.
Zimbabwe went behind early after a goalkeeping blunder by University of Pretoria goalkeeper Washington Arubi allowed Idrissa Sylla to score.
But Knowledge Musona equalised in the 34th minute and the Sundowns pair of Nyasha Mushekwi and Cuthbert Malajila both came close to securing the win.
Elias Pelembe had a genuine penalty shout in the first half but saw his Mozambique side suffer an embarrassing 1-0 defeat in Mauritius on Sunday.