Zambia, Libya make Nations Cup cut

Jacob Mulenga
Jacob Mulenga and his team-mates are celebrating qualification in Chingola

Zambia and Libya have both qualified for the African Cup of Nations after a 0-0 draw in Chingola on Saturday.

The home needed just a point to go through, while the Libyans needed victory to be certain of qualification.

But the goalless draw saw Zambia through as group winners while Libya filled one of two places reserved for the best runners-up.

There was plenty of expectation build-up to the Group B match but in the end, the tie was a drab affair.

A heroic defensive display helped Libya force the draw, with 39-year-old goalkeeper Samir Aboud making two crucial first-half saves.

In the second half, the North Africans made a number of key last-ditch tackles to deny Zambia's forwards.

Libya also rode their luck at times with the ball bouncing back off the crossbar twice.

After the hourmark, Libya could have scored the goal that would have taken them directly to the finals but Ahmed Zuway headed against the woodwork.

"We didn't play that well but that doesn't really matter. It is a historic day for us," said Libya's Brazilian coach Marco Paqueta.

He and his players danced and celebrated after the draw, many of them in tears after a taking the precious point.

Zambia finish the group with 13 points, one more than unbeaten Libya.

In the day's other group game, Mozambique won 3-0 at home to Comoros.

Goals from Maninho, Dario Monteiro and Elias Pelembe ensured a double over the island nation, and left Mozambique with seven points in the group.

Comoros finished with a point, thanks to a home draw against Libya in June.

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