Zambia’s hopes of qualifying to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations have been dealt a major blow after they lost 3-2 to Group E leaders Guinea-Bissau in a thrilling match played at the Estadio 24 de Setembro on Saturday.
The result means that the Chipolopolo are stuck on third spot on the group standings with 6 points from five matches played. They must now hope for bottom placed Kenya to beat Congo Brazzaville on Sunday in Nairobi to keep alive their slim chances of qualifying as one of the two best runners-up. A victory for Congo will see Zambia miss out on the continent’s biggest soccer showpiece for the first time in 13 years.
For Guinea-Bissau, the win puts them on the verge of their first ever appearance at an Africa Cup of Nations finals. They will qualify if second placed Congo lose in Kenya.
A Zezinho penalty gave the hosts an early lead before Collins Mbesuma equalised. Arnaud Mendy restored Guinea-Bissau’s lead which they held until the 48th minute, veteran forward Christopher Katongo levelled the match to 2-2. Toni Silva then scored the winner with virtually the last kick of the game.
Zambia host Kenya this September in their final Group E qualifier.