2012 ACN: Zambia surprise Ghana, 1-0 or is it a surprise?


The amazing Chipolopolos scored the winning goal in the 77th minute as substitute Emmanuel Mayuka found space and on the turn curled a right footed shot past Adam Kwarsey in goal. It was probably the second chance for the Zambians and very much against the run of play.
The Black Stars should have gone ahead early as Asamoah Gyan missed out on a golden chance when his penalty was stopped by Kennedy Mweene (bringing back painful memories of his World Cup PK miss against Uruguay). The Zambian goalie brought off a number of fine saves as the Ayew brothers, Andrew and Jordan carved up the flanks. The Ghanians can count profligacy and a sense of self entitlement as factors in their downfall.
This is the third final for the Zambians, runners up in their previous two entries in 1974 and 1994. The host country Gabon was also the site for the darkest hour in Zambian sporting history when a plane carrying their national team went down just offshore of Libreville, killing all 30 passengers and crew members including 18 players. That was in 1993 and a year later they entered the ACN finals, their team revived by their most famous player Kalusha Bwalya, miraculously not on that plane; in a testimony to human resilience.
A final victory in this ACN would go a long way to assuage that tremendous loss. But first they have to get past heavy favourites Didier Drogba and the Ivory Coast. This team might surprise again. Then again does it still count as a surprise if we said the same a number of matches ago?

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