By James Agberebi:
Ten-man Chipolopolo of Zambia secured their first win in Group B of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after defeating Algeria, who were without Riyad Mahrez, 3-1 inside the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday.
A brace in the first half from Brian Mwila gave Zambia a 2-0 lead before Yacine Brahimi got a goal for Algeria.
But late in the game, substitute Enoch Mwepu scored to make certain of Zambia’s first win in the qualifiers.
Immediately after Algeria’s goal Zambia were reduced to 10 men following Fashion Sakala’s sending off.
The win took Zambia to second in Group B on four points, five points adrift of leaders Nigeria, while Algeria remain bottom on just one point. Cameroon are third on two points.
The last time Zambia defeated Algeria was a 2-0 win in the group stage of the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations in Libya.
Mwila went close to giving Zambia the lead in the fourth minute but his header from a corner hit the post.
Mwila eventually got on the score sheet as he gave Zambia the lead in the seventh minute after hearing in Augustine Mulenga cross.
Mwila made it 2-0 in the 34th minute smashing into the net after Rais M’bolhi spilled an initial shot.
With five minutes remaining Mulenga had a chance to extend Zambia’s lead but blazed his effort over the bar from close range.
In the 54th minute Algeria pulled a goal back through Brahimi who hit a well struck effort past Kennedy Mweene to make it 2-1.
A minute later Zambia were reduced to 10 men following the sending off of Sakala for a rough tackle.
Despite playing most part of the second half with 10 men, Mwepu got the third goal to secure the win for Zambia.
Both teams will meet again in the return leg in Constantine in Algeria on Tuesday, September 5.