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Last Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006, 18:58 GMT
Zambia 1-0 South Africa
James Copnall
BBC Sport, Alexandria

Chris Katongo ensured Zambia leaves the tournament with a win

In a match that counted only for southern African pride, Zambia beat South Africa in their final Group C African Cup of Nations match at the Alexandria stadium.

Christopher Katongo scored the only goal after 75 minutes, meeting Clive Hachilensa's low cross and finding the corner of the net.

But Zambia's win was too little too late for the Chipolopolo to make the last eight.

Their defeat means the South Africans, Cup winners in 1996, exited Egypt 2006 without earning a point or a single goal.

Bafana Bafana coach Ted Dumitru, in what surely must be his last game in charge, made six changes, while Zambia's Kalusha Bwalya swapped two players from the side that lost in injury time to Guinea.

South Africa had the first chance, but Katlego Mphela headed Siphiwe Tshabalala's corner straight at the Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.

Zambia's first opportunity was also the result of an early corner.

Captain Elijah Tana almost repeated his goal against Guinea - this time his header beat the keeper, but bounced off the bar.

The Zambia captain was in superb form in defence, clearing dangerous balls with his head and feet whenever Bafana Bafana pressed.

Just after 30 minutes, Zambia's Collins Mbesuma almost scored what would have been a contender for goal of the tournament.

James Chamanga's cross was behind him, but the Portsmouth's striker fashioned an aerial back-heel that slipped just wide of the post.

Tana was the next to threaten in an open game, and his fierce free kick was pushed on to the bar by the Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Calvin Marlin.

In the dying seconds of the half, Zambia's Christopher Katongo had what he thought was a goal ruled out for offside and South Africa's Mphela missed the ball with the goal at his mercy.

The helter-skelter action continued after the break, with Mweene doing well to tip a low Siyabonga Nomvethe shot for a corner, while Christopher Katongo headed wide for Zambia when he should have scored.

Nomvethe fired another South African effort wide, but the pace of the game began to drop and both coaches made substitutions to freshen things up.

But it was one of the starters, Katongo, who struck the decisive blow and ensured the Chipolopolo left the tournament with some pride.

  • Zambia coach Kalusha Bwalya:
    "I believe talk for my resignation is off the mark. This is my first Nations Cup as a coach and it certainly won't be my last. This team has made great progress since 2003. We deserve better from this tournament but we were unlucky. I see many of these players featuring in many more Nations Cups."

  • South Africa coach Ted Dumitru:
    "We are disappointed that with our abundance of talent and dynamic approach to the game, we could not go farther in the competition.

    "The turning point for us was when we beat Egypt in a friendly match just before the competition started and since then, we did not produce the results we were expecting."

    Fixtures, results and tables
    28 Jan 06 |  African
    Egypt 2006: Venues guide
    06 Dec 05 |  African


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