For the first time since 1996, Zambia is through to the semifinals in the Africa Cup of Nations. Emmanuel Mayuka and Christopher Kotongo were not at the top of their games against Sudan on Saturday in their quarterfinal encounter, but Sudan was never really involved in the match, and the gap in quality between the two teams was obvious. Zambia coasted to a 3-0 victory, with both goals coming from dead balls.
Copper Bullets defender Stophira Sunzu scored the opening goal after just 15 minutes on a fantastic set piece. Running onto a ball played to the near post, Sunzu got between the goalkeeper and the nearest defender, then headed the ball powerfully behind him into the back of the net from a narrow angle. The game settled down after that, with Zambia cruising into halftime up 1-0.
Sudan's best spell came just after halftime, but they were never able to find a breakthrough before Saifeldin Ali Idris Farah gave away a penalty and got himself sent off in the 65th minute. Katongo stepped up and had his initial penalty brilliantly saved by Akram El Hadi Salem, but no Sudan players moved after it was taken. Katongo followed his shot and scored on the rebound, giving Zambia what was ultimately a clinching goal. They would add another in the 86th minute, with substitute James Chamanga scoring with a very tidy finish.
Zambia awaits the winner of Ghana - Tunisia, which will be played on Sunday.