Cosafa Cup defending champions Zambia humbled by Kenya as Zimbabwe battle to a narrow win

Cosafa Cup defending champions Zambia started their defense with a shocking 2-0 loss against Kenya's U23 side the Emerging Stars at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Thursday evening.

Chipolopolo came into the match as favourites owing to the quality within their squad, but their slow start cost them inside the first 10 minutes. 

Kenya attacker Patrick Otieno was pulled back in the danger zone after beating his marker, and the referee did not hesitate to point at the penalty spot. Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars midfielder Austin Odhiambo rose for the occasion, beating Charles Kalumba to hand the East Africans a deserved lead.

The Emerging Stars came close to doubling the advantage severally but lacked composure in front of the goal. They eventually got it right in the 20th minute. The dangerous Otieno reached a precise pass from Benson Omalla – who was the top scorer in the concluded Kenyan Premier League season with 19 goals, with the former expertly finding the back of the net.

Both teams had great chances to score in the second half, but good goalkeeping, resolute defending, and indecisiveness saw the opportunities get wasted. Captain Kelvin Kapumbu was sent off late into the game for a second yellow, but the damage had already been done.

Zimbabwe, Cosafa

Comoros fall against Zimbabwe

Earlier in the same venue, the Warriors of Zimbabwe laboured to a 1-0 win over determined Comoros.

The first half was characterized by a handful of missed chances by either side. Zimbabwe came back stronger after the break and were rewarded in the 53rd minute when Michael Tapera converted a Farai Banda assist to get the all-important goal.

Zimbabwe captain Godknows Murwira was handed the Player of the Match Award owing to his good display that enabled his team to record their maiden win in the just-started edition.

After Group B's matchday one, Kenya are at the summit with three points, the same as the Warriors who have an inferior goal difference.

In their next assignment scheduled for Sunday, the Emerging Stars will play Comoros while the defending champions will be aiming at taming Zimbabwe.

Cosafa Cup defending champions Zambia humbled by Kenya as Zimbabwe battle to a narrow win
Willis Sob

Willis Sob is an experienced journalist who has been in the game since 2009, covering major assignments around the continent.
His hunger for African football is unmatched, always getting the best angles and facts to feed the fans and quench their thirst.