Zambia, Libya share spoils

2012-01-25 21:21
Christopher Katongo (File)

Bata - Zambia came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with fairytale qualifiers Libya on Wednesday in a rain-delayed Africa Cup of Nations Group A match.

Ahmed Osman struck early in each half for the Libyans on a barely playable Estadio de Bata pitch, but his goals were cancelled out as Emmanuel Mayuka and captain Christopher Katongo netted.

The result means pre-tournament 125/1 rank outsiders and co-hosts Equatorial Guinea will become the first team to reach the quarter-finals if they defeat Senegal in the second half of a double-header.

Libya, whose players risked their lives to fulfil qualifying fixtures while a civil war raged in the north African country, retained a mathematical chance of making the last eight.

The kick-off of the first second-round group fixture was delayed 76 minutes after torrential late-afternoon rain dotted the pitch at the 35 000-seat stadium with mini lakes.

Efforts to clear puddles of varying sizes included the use of brooms, long and short planks of wood and the belated appearance of a machine which sped up the process.

However, it was questionable whether the game should have gone ahead with a large area of the pitch near the touchline in front of the main stand a muddy, waterlogged mess.

Walid El Khatroushi, who quit football temporarily last year to fight for the rebels who toppled Muammar Gaddafi, created the fifth-minute opening goal with a slide rule pass and Osman beat onrushing goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene to score.

Forced to retire injured in the loss to Equatorial Guinea last weekend, midfielder El Khatroushi was out of luck again midway through the first half with Ihab El Busaifi taking his place.

Fast-footed Zambia were not finding the heavy conditions to their liking against more direct opponents, but they gradually took command and it was no surprise when they levelled just before the half-hour mark.

Rainford Kalaba floated a superb cross to the far post where Mayuka hooked the ball across 39-year-old Libya captain Samir Abod into the far corner of the net.

Osman struck again two minutes after half-time, showing excellent control inside the six-yard box to score with a shot that went in off a post after Zambia failed to clear a low El Busaifi cross.

No Zambian heads dropped, though, and they equalised again after 54 minutes when a cross and a bicycle kick set up unmarked captain Katongo to nod home at the far post.


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Bafana Bafana have been drawn with Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania in the qualification stages for the 2017 AFCON tournament. Where will Shakes Mashaba's men finish in their pool?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.