Zambia’s Chipolopolo campaign for a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia started on a losing note after going down 1-2 to Nigeria Super Eagles at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi and Manchetser City striker Kelechi Iheanacho both found the back of the net marking a bad start for new chipolopolo caretaker coach Wedson Nyirenda.
Zambia conceded in the 32nd minute after a defensive lapse with Alex Iwobi opening the score,firing into the bottom corner following a knockback to net his first international goal.
Ten minutes later, Nigeria increased their tally through Kelechi Iheanacho as he lacted onto a through ball before rounding Kennedy Mweene to slot home the second goal.
Mpumalanga Black Ace bulky forward, Collins Mbesuma pulled one back for Zambia in the 71st minute ramming a shot home beyong the reach of Carl Ikeme but the visiors were able to hang on to the lead with host side unable not recover from a poor first half.
The result see Super Eagles move to the top of the group for now until Algeria and Cameroon the other sides in the group face off later tonight.
Zambia starting XI: Kennedy Mweene, Kabaso Chongo, Stopilla Sunzu, Adrian Chama, Fackson Kapumbu – Nathan Sinkala, Fwayo Tembo, Chisamba Lungu, Rainford Kalaba (skipper) – Collins Mbesuma, Winston Kalengo
Nigeria starting XI: Carl Ikeme – Wilfred Ndidi, Elderson Echiejile, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong – Ogenyi Onazi, Mikel Obi (captain) – Moses Simon, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho – Brown Ideye