Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Zambia held by 10-man Ethiopia
Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Ten-man Ethiopia grab unlikely draw against Zambia in the Group C opener in Nelspruit
Zambia will need to work hard to defend their Africa Cup of Nations trophy after 10-man Ethiopia held them in a lively Group C opener.
After Saldin Said’s missed penalty, Zambia took the lead through Collins Mbesuma, but had to wait until 10 minutes after keeper Jemal Tessal’s red card to open the scoring.
However, Adane Grima equalised to score Ethiopia’s first Africa Cup of Nations goals since 1976 to stun the Chipolopolo.
Reading-bound Stoppila Sunzu had an early long-range effort for Zambia but the ball flew well over the bar.
Ethiopia, making their first Afcon appearance in 31 years, had their first chance when the ball fell to Minyahile Teshome from a corner but he was unable to find the target.
Shortly after, Saladin timed his run to perfection and chipped the ball over the keeper, but the hard pitch saw his effort bounced over the bar.
Halfway into the first half Chris Katongo – the reigning BBC African footballer of the Year – beat the offside trap, but headed Rainford Kalaba’s cross over.
Two minutes later Ethiopia were awarded a penalty after midfielder Chisamba Lungu brought down Saladin.
However, Kennedy M’Weene was able to make a comfortable two-handed save down to his left after Saladin’s weak effort.
Tessal was red-carded – while on a stretcher – for a rash challenge on Lungu that may have left the keeper with a broken leg.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Mbesuma opened the scoring for Zambia, running onto Isaac Chansa’s ball into the middle of the Ethiopian defence.
The Chipolopolo were restricted to long range efforts at the start of the second half, failing to test reserve keeper Zerihun Tadele.
Ethiopia equalised in the 64th minute after sloppy defending allowed substitute Addis Hintsa to pass to Adane Grima who scored at the near post.
Both sides had chances in quick succession – midfielder Hintsa with a hopeful shot after spotting M’Weene off his line and Mbesuma for Zambia.
With ambitions of becoming the fourth team to retaining the title, Zambia will have to improve against Nigeria having been held by the lowest ranked team in the tournament.