AFCON 2023: 10-man Zambia deny Tanzania first win


In a nail-biting encounter in San Pédro, 10-man Zambia showcased resilience as they rallied late to secure a 1-1 draw against Tanzania in Group F of the Africa Cup of Nations. Patson Daka emerged as the hero for Zambia, salvaging a precious point with an 89th-minute equalizer.

The match began with a quick strike from Tanzania, as Mbwana Samatta’s defense-splitting pass set up Simon Msuva, who unleashed a powerful shot into the top corner just 11 minutes into the game. Despite Zambia’s efforts to mount an immediate response, Tanzania’s goalkeeper, Aishi Manula, stood firm during a frustrating opening half-hour for Zambia.

Zambia faced additional adversity when defender Rodrick Kabwe received two yellow cards in the span of 11 minutes, reducing them to 10 men just before halftime. Despite being a player down, Zambia pressed forward, with Patson Daka coming close to equalizing after the hour mark, only to be denied by Manula’s exceptional save.

As the clock ticked down, it appeared that Zambia’s hopes were dwindling, but Daka had other plans. In the 89th minute, he rose to the occasion, heading home an authoritative goal from Clatous Chama’s corner, leveling the score and rescuing a vital point for his team.

The late drama in San Pédro has left Group F wide open, with all four nations still in contention for qualification to the knockout stages. Zambia, seeking redemption, faces Morocco on Wednesday, knowing that a victory could secure them the top spot in the group, especially if the Democratic Republic of Congo fails to beat Tanzania. On the other side, a triumph for Tanzania would guarantee their progression to the next round, adding further intensity to an already unpredictable group stage.

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