Zambia have put themselves in a brilliant position to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals for the second straight tournament with a surprise 2-1 win over Group A favorites Senegal. While Senegal have perhaps the best striking options in the entire tournament, the rest of their team didn't look up to the task. The Lions' midfield, defense, and goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul were all shocking in the first half, and Zambia's two goals were well deserved.
Emmanuel Mayuka and Rainford Kalaba both provided good finishes, but their opportunities were gifted to them. Mayuka's came in the 12th minute on a header, where the defense inexplicably allowed the 5-foot-9 forward to get his head on a ball on the edge of the six-yard area. The second goal came in the 20th minute, with the Senegal midfield nowhere to be found. Christopher Katongo had plenty of time and space to find Kalaba with a pass, and he finished calmly. Zambia would carry their 2-0 lead into halftime.
FC Copenhagen ace Dame N'Doye got his team back in the game with a great control and near-post finish in the 74th minute, but Senegal wouldn't find an equalizer. Zambia did well to attack an unsettled back line and midfield in the first half, then hold onto their lead against a team that had no deal creator for all of their striking talent.