South Africa U-23 vs Zambia U-23 CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations report
Posted: 1 December 2015 Time: 17:13
South Africa Under-23s fought back to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Zambia at the Leopold Sedar Stadium in Dakar on Tuesday afternoon.
Second half strikes from Orlando Pirates duo Menzi Masuku and Gift Motupa in quick succession ensured South Africa under-23s their first win at the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations.
Proceedings got off to a slow start as both teams looked to stamp their authority on the match, but failed to test the keeper in the opening 20 minutes.
Mahlambi was the first to test Toaster Nsabata in the 25th minute, but his curling shot from outside of the box was comfortably saved by the Zambian keeper.
Conlyde Luchanga fired Chipolopolo into the lead in the 35th minute, when the striker was allowed acres of space inside the box to volley home a lovely lobbed pass.
Zambia almost double their lead two minutes later but Jody February pulled off a great save to tip over Chepeshi's thunderous strike from range.
A few set-pieces fell in the way of South Africa, but they lacked the final touch inside the box to trouble Nsabata in goal.
Owen Da Gama's half-time teamtalk did wonders for his side as Masuku grabbed the equaliser just two minutes into the second stanza, after latching onto a loose ball and tapping home from close range.
Five Minutes later, Motupa was on hand to give South Africa the lead when he rose highest to head home from Mngonyama's flick on at the back post, from a Keagan Dolly corner.
Within two minutes the 21-year old striker grabbed his brace when he combined beautifully with Masuku to fire SA to a 3-1 lead in the 54th minute.
Zambia pulled one back in the 74th minute when Mutale fired through a crowd of defenders after a corner kick was not completely cleared.
Both teams went in search for more goals, but it wasn't to be as South Africa held on for the all-important three points, which gives them a chance to advance if they beat Tunisia in their final group game on Friday.
SA U-23 XI: February, Mngonyama, Coetzee, Moerane, Mobara (Macheke 62'), Dolly (c), Motupa, Masuku, Mekoa, Mahlambi (Norodien 84'), Zuma (P Ntshangase 46')
Subs: Goss, Peters, Rikhotso, Macheke, P Ntshangase, Mako, Norodien, Sibeko, S Ntshangase
Zambia U-23 XI: Nsabata, Chepeshi, Musonda, Kayawe (Phiri 60'), Sautu (A Chirwa 87'), Katema, Sakala, Mkandawire, Kampamba (Samu 49'), Luchanga, Mutale