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WAFCON: Zambia overcome missed penalty and disallowed goal to defeat Tunisia

It seemed like luck would not be on Zambia’s side Wednesday but the Copper Queens persevered to find a late winner in their 1-0 defeat of Tunisia, guaranteeing Zambia a spot in the quarterfinals out of Group B. Substitute Avell Chitundu finished from close range in second half stoppage time to give Zambia the full three points after missing a penalty kick and having another potential goal ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee. Zambia will face Togo in their final Group B encounter on Saturday as Tunisia faces Cameroon.

There was little doubt that the Copper Queens deserved the three points after accumulating 23 shots but the Tunisian defense held out fiercely. After an uneventful start to the match, Zambia had their first golden opportunity around the half hour mark when forward Siomara Mapepa was bundled over by Tunisia defender Rania Aouina. However, Ochumba Oseke got under her spot kick attempt and skied the ball over the crossbar of goalkeeper Soulaima Jabrani.

The opportunities continued to arrive for Zambia after the missed opportunity. Oseke headed just wide in first half stoppage time and soon after the break captain Grace Chanda stole the ball thirty yards from goal before striking a fierce long range effort wide. The closest Tunisia got to scoring came near the hour mark when Ella Kaabachi’s shot stung the gloves of keeper Hazel Nali as she parried away.

It appeared Zambia were in the lead when a 67th minute free kick from out wide saw Jabrani miss her attempt to swat away Mapepa’s curling effort on its way into the goal. However the Video Assistant Referee judged that an offside Chitundu affected Jabrani’s attempt to play the ball and the goal was overturned.

Another set piece from the left wing in the first minute of stoppage time would not see the Copper Queens deterred in the end. Lushoma Mweemba’s delivery was flicked into the air by the head of Chanda and Chitundu stormed in to stab the ball in from five yards out for a winner that left the Zambian team elated.

Highlights are below.

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