CHIPOLOPOLO CRUMBLES: Sudden death shootout ends Chipolopolo chapter in Malawi

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THE dream of Zambia going into the competition with less sweat turned into a nightmare as their opening match at the Four Nations Invitational Tournament dissolved into a penalty heartbreak.

Captain Stopilla Sunzu’s headed effort in the first minute ignited a spark, followed by Clatous Chama’s audacious lob that sent the Chipolopolo faithful into a frenzy.

Zambia held a commanding 2-0 lead, but the script took a cruel turn.

Zimbabwe clawed their way back with a vengeance. Bonne Miles punished Zambia’s defensive lapses, and a close-range tap-in from Walter Musona just before halftime silenced the jubilant Zambian fans.

The two teams could not be separated in normal time and the penalty shootout became a stage for both heroes and villains.

Zambia started strong with Patson Daka converting his spot kick. However, nerves took hold of Toaster Nsabata, Emmanuel Banda and for Sunzu who could not convert their penalties.

Gift Mphande, Clatous Chama, Golden Mashata, and Benedict Chepeshi held their nerve for Zambia, but it wasn’t enough.

Zimbabwe’s warriors, meanwhile, marched on with John Takwara, Tino Kadewere, and their teammates found the net.

Despite Musona and Divine Lunga’s missed penalties, it was enough to sink the Copper Bullets.

Zambia’s journey at the Four Nations Invitational has begun with a bitter taste of defeat, and they now face a battle for third place.

By Moses Makwaya

Kalemba March 24, 2024

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