Wada hails under-20 stars

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Enoch Mwepu beats Algerian player

Chipolopolo coach Wedson Nyirenda has described as excellent, the performances of under-20 stars, Enock Mwepu, Patson Daka and Fashion Sakala in his side’s 3-1 bashing of Algeria in a Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Austria-based midfielder Mwepu came off the bench 11 minutes after the restart to put the game beyond the reach of the Desert Foxes with a fine individual effort in the 89th minute, while club-mate Daka completed 90 minutes, putting in an all-action display and making a telling contribution in the build up to Brian Mwila’s second goal.

Spartak Moscow winger Sakala’s debut may have ended prematurely – with the youngster exiting the pitch in tears after receiving his marching orders in the 55th minute for a second bookable offence – but he did show flashes of his quality and recorded an assist to his name as his shot was spilled into the path of Mwila to tap in his second of the match.

“This was a tough match for us with just a few days of preparations but our aim was to get three points. Algeria is not a small team, but jinxes were meant to be broken. I am sure very few gave us a chance going into the game, and I am happy we have done that with a young team. We are in contention and I am happy with the excellent performance of the young boys,” Nyirenda said, adding, “The boys are very brave, we threw them into the deep end and they swam.”

On the sending off of Sakala 10 minutes after the restart, Nyirenda said: “It’s part of football. The boy did what he could do. It’s unfortunate he got his second yellow but we have to give him the encouragement. All in all, the boy has done well.

Saturday’s win, the first over Algeria in 35 years, lifts the Chipolopolo to second place on four points, five points behind runaway leaders Nigeria with three rounds of matches left to play.

Algeria stay bottom of Group B on a single point, one behind third-placed Cameroon.

Algeria will now seek revenge against Chipolopolo who they host on Tuesday, September 5.

Zambia and Algeria both flew out for Constantine on separate charter flights on Saturday evening where Tuesday’s match will be played.

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