Zambia had to shake off a spirited Namibia side to finish top of Group B after having come from behind to draw 1-all at the Mohammed V Stadium.
The brave warriors of Namibia stunned Zambia in the 13th minute when Absalom IImbodi’s speculative free kick took a touch off Vitapi Ngaruka with the Chipolopolo defence on the back foot.
Namibia were stirred to life by the goal kept coming at Zambia who were looking for a way back in the match.
It was not until the 24th minute when Lazarous Kambole finished off an exquisitely woven move that started with Simon Silwimba’s long ball finding Mike Katiba who set up a menacingly advancing Ernest Mbewe who in turn teed up Kambole.
The Namibians had an answer to every move the Zambians put through with Augustine Mulenga who was deployed in a more central role struggling to find his fine touch.
It was a relief to both sides when the half time break came but coach Wedson Nyirenda made known his desire to shake up things withdrawing Mike Katiba for Friday Samu.
Nyirenda was not letting up injecting energy in his team and threw in Jack Chirwa after Kondwani Mtonga fell to a knockdown from Dynamo Fredericks in the 54th minute.
Rwandese referee Louis Hakizimana reached for his back pocket in the 69th minute as Silwimba shoved Benyamen Nenkavu giving the Zambian defender a yellow card.
Kambole though he had got an opportunity to double the lead in the 70th minute but his header went wide.
Nyirenda threw in Larry Bwalya for Kambole in the 73rd minute as Zambia looked to find a winning goal.
In the end both sides settled for a 1-all draw that put them at seven points although the Chipolopolo had a healthier goal difference.
Zambia will face Sudan on Saturday at the Grand Stade de Marrakech while Namibia will be up against Morocco in the quarter finals.
In the other Group B dead rubber contest Ivory Coast and Uganda drew all finishing one point apiece.