African Cup of Nations - Zambia dispatch Sudan
Zambia reached the last four of the African Cup of Nations for the first time since 1996 with a comfortable 3-0 quarter-final win against Sudan in Bata.
Stophira Sunzu put the Zambians into a first-half lead before a rash Saideldin Ali Idris Farah challenge on the game's stand-out player Rainford Kalaba in the box earned him a second yellow card and a penalty for Zambia.
Captain Christopher Katongo's spot-kick was saved by Akram El Hadi, only for the ball to fall for Katongo to knock in the rebound, and it was then left to substitute James Chamanga to put gloss on the result with a curling finish moments from the final whistle.
Zambia, top of a group featuring Senegal and co-hosts Equatorial Guinea, and Sudan, who squeezed past Angola team in the tightly-contested Group B, had earned reputations as two of the most creative forces in the tournament thus far.
Zambia’s Rainford Kalaba and Sudan’s Haitham Mustafa had both laid on more than three chances per game in the group stages, but, with much at stake, the opening exchanges played out tentatively.
But it was Zambia who settled quicker and began to fashion chances - Akram El Hadi had to be alert to beat away Emmanuel Mayuka's effort at his near post.
The Sudanese failed to heed that warning and were behind moments later when Sunzu headed in Kalaba's cross at the near post with Akram El Hadi culpable of not commanding his six yard box.
Zambia were the far superior team in almost all aspects but failed to add to their advantage whilst Sudan's best hope of getting back into the game came in the shape of opportunities from set-pieces.
The second half was an almost entirely different affair as the Sudanese grew in stature, controlling possession - but the game was lost as soon as Farah felled Kalaba in the box and received his second yellow.
Katongo's penalty put the game beyond the Sudanese who tired as the game drew to a close and when Chamanga was afforded far too much space he further increased the Chipolopolo's advantage with a sumptuous finish.