Zambia earned an important victory on Thursday in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, overcoming a one-goal deficit to defeat visiting Lesotho 3-1 at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola. Lameck Banda scored two goals in the second half after Fashion Sakala cancelled out an opening goal from Lesotho’s Tshwarelo Bereng in the first half. The Chipolopolo are now top of Group H for now with seven points through three matches, two points ahead of Ivory Coast and two ahead of Comoros before the two teams square off on Saturday.
As anticipated, the hosts dominated the ball and the match but Lesotho defended in numbers and were able to cause the home supporters concern when they surprisingly took the lead from Bereng’s hopeful 33rd minute free kick that snuck through the hands of Zambia goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata. Zambia would level four minutes later through Rangers FC forward Sakala who drove inside from the left wing and fired a low shot past Lesotho keeper Sekhoane Moerane at his near post.
Banda came on as an early injury substitution but his two goals in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half put Zambia beyond reach. The Lecce attacker leaped up to send a powerful header past Moerane from a Kings Kangwa corner kick in the 53rd minute before dribbling into the Lesotho penalty area and finishing with a low shot four minutes later. The two teams will meet again in three days at the Dobsonville Stadium in South Africa where Lesotho are hosting their home fixtures.
Highlights are below.