Ivory Coast’s Les Elephants all but bowed out of the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) on Thursday after suffering their second defeat in their group against Zambia.
The Elephants will now have to fight for a win in their final Group B match against Uganda if they are to stand a chance of qualifying for the quarter-final stages as one of the second-place finishers.
This 2-0 loss against Zambia sees coach Kamara’s team now being bottom of their group with no points, having suffered a 1-0 defeat against Namibia in their first match.
In this encounter, the towering Zambian, thrashed Uganda 3-1 in their first match, moved quicker on the pitch compared to the Elephants, who struggled to close them down in the first five minutes.
It was their quick transition play which proved very difficult for Elephants to deal with. And that’s because the Zambians didn’t spend too much time on the ball moving forward. They played one-touch football, sometimes two, each time they transitioned from centre midfield into the attacking third.
Their coach Ibrahim Camara paced up and down in his dug-out with frustration, throwing his hands up in disbelief each time his side missed scoring chances.
Zadi Hortalin had denied them twice when his defensive line had failed to protect him from their deadly shots.
In the 8th minute, Augustine Mulenga fired a fine shot from the penalty area having got a pass from Lazarous Kambole for the opener.
In the second period, the Italians also demonstrated that not only were they quick on their feet, but also showed that they had strong aerial presence.
And that’s how they scored their second goal from the same man Augustine Mulenga who skipped past three challenges in the penalty area before sending a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Ivory Coast tried to fight back in the remaining minutes of the match, but it was already too late. They were simply outclassed by a side who wanted it more.