Nations Cup 2013: Zambia lose to Tanzania

Zambia coach Herve Renard

African champions Zambia lost 1-0 in Tanzania on Saturday as they continued their preparations to defend their title next month.

In Saturday's other friendlies there were wins for the Africa Cup of Nations hosts South Africa as well as Angola.

The 2013 Nations Cup kicks off on 19 January in Johannesburg.

Many of the sides in action were under-strength as clubs across Europe have not yet released their players for Nations Cup duty.

Zambia were foiled twice by the woodwork as they tried to launch a second-half comeback in Dar-es-Salaam.

Impressive substitute Mukuka Mulenga and Felix Katongo both struck the post after Mrisho Ngassa had put the home team into the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Ngassa, who scored five goals against Somalia at the recent regional Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, Kampamba Chintu and rounded goalkeeper Daniel Munyau for the only goal of the game.

Several Zambians, including usually inspirational captain and 2012 BBC African Footballer of the Year Christopher Katongo, were below par.

Caf's Coach of the Year Herve Renard made numerous second-half changes, with Stoppila Sunzu among those to make an impact in defence in the second half.

Zambia have four more friendlies lined up before starting to defend their title on 21 January with a Group C clash against Ethiopia, before they play Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

Chipolopolo face Swaziland in Nelspruit on 5 January, Morocco in Johannesburg three days later, Norway in Ndola on 12 January and return to Nelspruit for a 15 January date with Namibia.

Angola completed a three-match build-up this month by defeating Rwanda 1-0 thanks to a Mingo Bille goal before a large crowd at Estadio 11 de Novembro in Luanda that included President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Mingo Bille struck after 10 minutes for the Black Antelopes, who drew with Gambia and beat Cameroon in other games designed to prepare the team for Group A games against hosts South Africa, Morocco and the Cape Verde Islands.

Lehlohonolo Majoro and Siphiwe Tshabalala scored in the opening 10 minutes of the game to set up a 3-1 win for South Africa over Malawi in Durban.

Josephy Kamwendo halved the deficit by converting an early second-half spot kick only for Bafana Bafana to seal success from another penalty with substitute Max Mahlangu sending Simplex Nthala the wrong way.