THE ZAMBIA Under-20 national has lifted the AfCON trophy after beating pre-tournament favourites Senegal 2-0.
Goals from topscorers Patson Daka and Edward Chilufya ensured victory for the hosts who did not lose a single match and only conceded two throughout the tournament.
Zambia took a 2-0 lead into the break, thanks to some very poor goalkeeping and defending by Senegal.
The first goal came in the 17th minute when Lamine Sarr spilt the ball on the near post and Daka ruthlessly punished him with a cool finish.
Poor communication between Sarr and his defender in the 35th minute handed Zambia the second goal that was credited to Edward Chilufya, but on the replay looked in a bizzere own-goal in case of sixes-and-sevens between Sarr and the defender nearest to him.
Senegal began the second half like a team possessed by demons of the voodoo-like stuff wrapped around their arms and socks which was later to be revealed as striker Ibrahima Ndiaye was caught throwing strange fetish substances in the Zambian goal mouth in the 58th minute, which earned him a booking from Burundian referee Thierry Nkurunzinza as his actions delayed the match due to scuffles that ensued among players.
Before that incident, match officials ordered Ibrahim Niane to throw away some piece of cloth strapped around his left hand in the 48th minute which incensed the crowd inside the Heroes arena which started chanting anti-juju slogans.
But it was Zambia who almost scored a third earlier on when striker Patson Daka chipped over Sarr only for defender Mamadou Diarra to clear the ball before it crossed the line in the 52nd minute.
Call it mind games or real, the young Teranga Lions certainly got inspired by their own voodoo beliefs as they dominated play, forcing Zambia to sit back and soak the pressure in their own half as Zambian goalie and man-of-the-match Mangani Banda became the busiest of the two goal minders as the agile Zanaco goalie came out on top with all that Senegal threw at him.
The match became a scrappy affair from then on as the hosts sat back resorting to sporadic attacks in the wings, with Senegal also fumbling their chances.
The crowd, being sure of victory, started the ‘Chipolopolo iye’ anthem which reverberated around the stadium the whole four added minutes after regulation time, with Zambian players tactically delaying play.
For his tournament exploits, Daka was voted 2017 player of the tournament.