Zambia earned their first point of the 2018 Fifa World Cup on match day two in Group B after they played out a 1-1 draw with Cameroon at the Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on Saturday.
Collins Mbesuma had given the Chipolopolo the lead in the 34th minute when he slide to turn in Rainford Kalaba’s square pass following a free kick which was taken short by Fackson Kapumbu but Vincent Aboubakar equalized for the hosts from the penalty spot in first half additional time after Ziyo Tembo was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area.
There was little goal mouth action in this match played on a heavy pitch, but the Indomitable Lions managed to show purpose in the opening exchanges.
Sebastian Siani had the first attempt when he broke from the left wing into the middle but his driven effort went over and wide of target in the 4th minute. Two minutes later it was Benjamin Moukandjo who fired a ferocious shot at the top of the area but Kennedy Mweene was alert to make a save.
For the Chipolopolo, Mbesuma wasted a good chance on 31 minutes after he was set up by Kalaba when his effort went over the crossbar from inside the box but he was clinical three minutes later after he was set up in similar fashion by the same player to give the lead to the visitors.
Cameroon almost equalized in the 40th minute but Chedjou could only send his free header over the bar following a corner.
The equalizer arrived in additional time when the referee pointed to the spot despite television replays showing that Tembo made a legal challenge, Siani’s effort coming off his on his thigh and Aboubakar stepped up to pull the hosts level at the break.
Zambia were forced to replace Evans Kangwa at half time and Collins Mbesuma ten minutes after the break with Simon Silwimba and Rodgers Kola respectively due to injuries while Cameroon introduced Anatole Abang for Edgar Salli at half time.
The Cameroonian substitute almost got his name on the scoresheet in the 67th minute but his free header at the far post went wide.
The hosts put pressure on the Zambian goal in the dying minutes of the game and in the 84th minute Christian Bassoggog who had replaced Clinton Njie three minutes earlier hit the upright with his effort.
It was a case of defence versus attack in the closing exchanges but Zambia held on to collect a valuable point away from home.
The single point earned by Zambia means that they moved up to third in Group B on goal difference from Algeria who lost 3-1 away to Nigeria. Cameroon are in second with two points while Nigeria extended their tally to six points.
The next round of matches will be played August 28 when Zambia will host Algeria while Nigeria will be at home to Cameroon.
16 Kennedy Mweene 12 Kabaso Chongo 3 Fackson Kapumbu 2 Ziyo Tembo 13 Stopilla Sunzu 21 Misheck Chaila 15 Kondwani Mtonga 14 Evans Kangwa (Simon Silwimba 45’) 11 Chisamba Lungu (Isaac Chansa 90’) 17 Rainford Kalaba 9 Collins Mbesuma (Rodgers Kola 56’)
1 Jacob Banda 6 Simon Silwimba 4 Adrian Chama 5 George Chilufya 8 Isaac Chansa 10 Fwayo Tembo 23 Rodrick Kabwe 7 Charles Zulu 18 Rodgers Kola 22 Allan Chibwe 20 Ronald Kampamba 19 Nathan Sinkala
Yellow Cards: Rainford Kalaba, Misheck Chaila
1 Joseph Ondoa (Gk) 2 Allan Nyom 3 Nicolas Nkoulou 5 Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui 6 Ambroise Oyongo 7 Clinton Njie (12 Christian Bassogog 81) 8 Benjamin Moukandjo (C) 10 Vincent Aboubakar 11 Edgar Salli (Anatoele Abang 46’) 14 Aurelien Chedjou 15 Sebastien Siani
16 Guy Ndy (Gk) 23 Andre Onana (Gk) 4 Adolphe Teikeu 9 Anatole Abang 12 Christian Bassogog 17 Arnaud Sutchuin Djoum 18 Robert Ndip Tambe 19 Collins Fai 20 Georges Mandjeck 21 Muhammed Djetei 22 Frank Boya
Yellow Cards: Sebastien Siani