Benin rallied to beat Zambia 2-1 on Sunday to hand Chipolopolo a defeat in their second game at the Antalya Cup in Turkey in a tight affair at Mardan Sports Complex.
The defeat came two days after Chipolopolo beat Congo-Brazzaville 3-1 to see coach Aljosa Asanovic collect his first victory from two games after starting his tenure with a 3-1 away loss to Iraq in another friendly played in Baghdad on March 18.
Meanwhile, Zambia took the lead in the 23th minute through Kelvin Mubanga who intercepted a Melvyn Doresmus back-pass when he stole the ball and raced to the edge of the area to fire in the opening goal.
Benin then had the ball in the back of Zambia’s net two minutes later but Anane Tidjani’s goal was ruled-out for offside.
But they got it right in the 34th minute when Cebio Soukou volleyed in from just outside the box to see the two teams go into the break evenly poised.
Klings Kangwa had another notable game but a great opportunity in the 64th minute came to nothing after he was policed in the box by Cebio Soukou just as he was about to lock his gun-sights on Benin’s goal.
Three minutes later, Prince Mumba tried from distance but Benin goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe gathered his attempt.
Chipolopolo were very fortunate in the 70th minute when captain Lubambo Musonda blocked Steve Mounie’s goal-bound shot that Toaster Nsabata failed to stop just six minutes after the Benin striker came on.
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Lameck Banda then had a go in the 74th minute but his shot from a very tight angle raced across the face of Benin’s goalmouth.
Benin made it count on the other side when Mounie set up fellow 64th minute substitute Tosin Aiyegun 83rd minute after the latter eluded three Zambian defenders to smash in the winner.
Chipolopolo are now done with their March FIFA window engagements and regroup this June for the start of the 2023 AFCON group stage qualifiers.