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Late equaliser hands Zambia draw to deny Tanzania rare win

PATSON Daka scored a late equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw for 10-man Zambia and deny opponents Tanzania a first Group F win at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Simon Msuva’s 11th-minute strike handed Tanzania the lead at the Laurent Pokou Stadium and put them on course for their first win at the finals after they started their campaign with a 3-0 loss to Morocco, but Daka’s explosive header in the 88th-minute ensured a share of the spoils.

Earlier at the same venue, the Democratic Republic of Congo held Morocco to a 1-1 draw.

Sunday’s results left Morocco top with four points, the Congolese and Zambians on two points and Tanzania bottom on one, after two games each.

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Tanzania had failed to win on their previous finals appearances in 1980 and 2019 and were not given much chance at the tournament in the Ivory Coast, especially after coach Adel Amrouche was handed an eight-match suspension on Friday.

He was found guilty by the Confederation of African Football of insulting previous opponents Morocco in a TV interview, accusing them of manipulating referees among other allegations, and later suspended by Tanzania, effectively ending his tenure.

But with interim coach Hemed Morocco at the helm, Tanzania showed no signs of any disruption and went ahead when they stole away possession, allowing Mbwana Samatta to feed Msuva for a shock goal.

Zambia battled hard to try and get into the game and could have been level had Fashion Sakala not headed wide from point-blank range in the 31st minute.

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But they suffered a major setback when captain Roderick Kabwe was sent off before halftime for a second cautionable offence in what looked like a harsh decision.

Despite the disadvantage, Zambia looked the more enterprising in the second half but left it late to level, with Leicester City’s Daka racing in at the near post and rising high to attack the ball and glance it into the net.

Zambia face an uphill task in their bid to qualify for the next stage as they face tournament favourites Morocco in their last group game on Wednesday while Tanzania will take on DR Congo at the same time.

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By The African Mirror

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