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Superb Sakala hat-trick helps Zambia to dominant victory over Mauritania in Lusaka

There was no mercy on display from the Chipolopolo as Zambia achieved a decisive 4-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory over Mauritania at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday. Rangers FC striker Fashion Sakala tallied a hat-trick and Patson Daka added a goal of his own for the Copper Bullets, who pull to within three points of Group B leaders Tunisia with the victory and will face the Carthage Eagles on the final day. However, Zambia will need Equatorial Guinea to defeat Tunisia later on Saturday in order to have any chance of advancing as group winners.

Opportunities came in droves for the Zambians in front of a passionate home crowd that urged them on. Winger Evans Kangwa was particularly influential and had little trouble making inroads on the left flank, creating multiple opportunities for strikers Sakala and Daka. The first excellent opportunity came in the 10th minute when Kangwa latched onto a ball over the top of the Mauritanian defense and put in a good low cross from the left wing, but Sakala could not put the final touch on the service.

Mauritania survived a few more chances for Zambia, but their luck ran out in the 34th minute. Kangwa held off two defenders on the left flank and did well to get the ball inside to full back Prosper Chiluya, who provided an excellent cross that found Daka for a close range header that left Mauritanian keeper Babacar Diop with no chance.

The onslaught continued up until halftime from Zambia with Sakala propelling himself into the spotlight. A couple of minutes after Daka’s opener, the Leicester City marksman was in behind the defense after a midfield pass from Emmanuel Banda and as Diop came out to close down the angle, Daka slid a pass across to find Sakala who finished easily. Just before halftime it was Kangwa who combined with Daka, receiving an excellent cushioned pass from the striker before being taken down by Diop for a penalty kick. Sakala then proceeded to send Diop the wrong way as he put the spot kick away.

By the time the halftime break was over, the Mauritanian team spirit was shattered and the visitors had little chance of changing the match outcome. Zambia relaxed their attacking ferocity a bit but still added one more goal in the 63rd minute as Sakala completed his hat-trick. A throw-in for Chipolopolo was headed by a Mauritania player towards their own goal, where Lubambo Musonda collected at the edge of the penalty area. Musonda drew a defender over before passing to Sakala, who applied a cool finish past Diop to wrap up the scoring.

Highlights of the match are in the link below.

Highlights from FIFA TV


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