CHILILABOMBWE, Zambia, March 26 (Reuters) - A first minute goal by defender Elijah Tana set Zambia on their way to a comfortable 2-0 win over Congo in their World Cup qualifier in Chililabombwe on Saturday.
Tana's free kick took a wicked deflection to give the home
side the perfect start in the African zone Group One match as
they kept up their challenge for a place in next year's finals
Striker Collins Mbesuma added the second goal just before
halftime, his fourth in the last two qualifiers.
The result put Zambia temporarily into the lead in the
group, three points ahead of Senegal, who were playing Liberia
in Dakar later on Saturday, and Togo, away to Mali on Sunday.
The opening goal came after Congo's French-based Christel
Kimembe had handled the ball on the edge of the area after just
Zambia's second was set up by winger Felix Katongo, who
proved their best player on the day with his runs down the left.
Katongo fed Mbesuma with a clever through ball before the
burly striker rounded Congo goalkeeper Barel Mouko and scored
from a tight angle.
The game was held up for several minutes after the goal when
a swarm of bees attacked celebrating spectators.
Davies Mwape, playing in only his third international for
Zambia, missed a golden opportunity in the second half before
Congo launched a late flurry.
Substitute Patrick Lolo hit the woodwork when a square ball
bounced off his knee and Destin Makita missed a good chance
after Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene spilt a free kick into
'It was very satisfying. We are on the right track,' said
Zambia coach Kalusha Bwalya.
'I was very pleased with the level of commitment but we
can't afford to be complacent.'
Zambia face a tough tie away to Togo in their next qualifier
in June and will be without influential defender Tana, who will
be suspended after being cautioned in Saturday's game.