Zambia up for challenge

ADDIS ABABA - Star striker Dube Phiri struck twice in the first half to set up a 4-0 win for Zambia over Zanzibar in the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup.

ADDIS ABABA - Star striker Dube Phiri struck twice in the first half to set up a 4-0 win for Zambia over Zanzibar in the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup.

Victory lifted Zambia off the bottom of the Group B table into second place and booked a quarterfinal showdown today with hosts Ethiopia, who are seeking a record-equalling third consecutive title.

Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi and Uganda have also secured places in the knockout phase of the oldest African national team competition with Sudan and Rwanda likely to fill the other slots.

Under fire from the Zambian media and public after a shock 3-2 midweek loss to Burundi, Chipolopolo quickly made a mockery of pre-match comments of Zanzibar coach Bushir Mahmoud that his underdogs would cause another upset.

Phiri was foiled by the woodwork twice before opening the scoring after 35 minutes and added a second three minutes later to become leading scorer in the Challenge Cup with three goals after also scoring against Burundi.

Any hope the Zanzibaris had of staging a recovery vanished midway through the second half when Aggrey Morris was sent off.

The numerical superiority of Zambia soon told with Felix Katongo scoring after 70 minutes and Rainford Kalaba collecting his second goal of the Cup four minutes later.

Staged under various names since 1926, the Challenge Cup is usually played between national teams from east and central Africa, with Zambia and Malawi added this year after the withdrawal of Kenya and Eritrea. - Sapa-AFP

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