Japan rally to punish Zambia
Time Posted: June 7, 2014 4:14 am
Zambia squandered a 2-1 lead to collapse 4-3 in a seven goal thriller against World Cup-bound Japan in Florida this morning at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Patrice Beaumelle’s sides were looking comfortable and cruising to a potential 2-1 win until period of madness in the last 16 minutes of the second half in which fans were treated to a four-goal exchange of fire.
Christopher Katongo put Zambia ahead with a powerful header in the 9th minute after turning in a Jimmy Chisenga cross.
TP Mazembe midfielder Nathan Sinkala extended Zambia’s lead in the 29th minute as Beaumelle side stamped their authority on the game.
However, Japan fought back in 40th minute when referee Edwin Jurisevic pointed to the spot for a clear ball to hand off Emmanuel Mbola from a Yoichiro Kakitani shot.
AC Milan midfielder Keisuke Honda stepped up to send goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata the wrong way in what was a poor display all day by the Nchanga Rangers man.
Katongo led Zambia’s early authoritative charge after the break but had two glorious chances wasted heading wide in the 53rd minute and two minutes later sent his shot inches wide of the post.
Then in the 74th minute, Japan ignited to life and levelled scores through Shinji Kagawa with a speculative shot that caught Nsabata unawares.
A minute later an unmarked Honda completed his brace a minute with a close range shot.
But Power Dynamos wonderboy Lubambo Musonda who replaced Chisamba Lungu in the 75th minute equalised with a breathtaking volley in the 88th minute after a dazzling run by the Zambia Under-20 captain on the left flank.
Yoshito Okubo then stunned Zambia with a last minute goal to deny Beaumelle his one hundred per cent start to 2014 after beating Uganda 2-1 on March 5 in Ndola.
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