On Saturday April 10th, City of Lusaka beat Riflemen FC on penalties to lift the Football Association of Zambia Provincial Cup at Woodlands Stadium.
The game finished 2-2 after 90 minutes and went straight to penalties where the home side came out on top 5-4.
The match kicked off at 4pm on Saturday 10 April 2021. Yamoto had qualified for the Cup Final having passed Chirundu in the Quarter-Final and Mikango in the Semi-Final. The FAZ Cup competition initially began in 2019, with the finals due to take place in 2020, however due to COVID-19 it had been delayed.
Just two minutes into the game, Riflemen were awarded a free kick just outside the 18-yard box and brilliantly stuck the ball into the top right corner to give them a 1-0 lead early on.
Yamoto rallied after their early mistake and continued to dominate the next 20 minutes but just could not find the back of the net. Angel Lubamba was looking dangerous down the right hand side of the pitch. However central defenders Anthony Moyo and Wezzly Makwati were under pressure from Riflemen’s quick counter attacks.
The breakthrough came in the 21st minute when City were awarded a penalty when the Yamoto striker was brought down following an Angel Lubamba cross. Defender Paul Ngoi calmly fired the ball into the top left to level the scores at 1-1.
Just seven minutes later, however, a long ball from Riflemen caused City keeper Joe Phiri to rush out of his goal to clear but after connecting poorly with the ball the away side were able to tuck the ball away nicely from a tight angle. This brought the score to 2-1 in Riflemen’s favour with 30 mins of the match played.
For the remainder of the first half, Yamoto pushed to find an equalizer but again were unable to create that killer last pass. Riflemen looked strong on the counter attack and had a few chances to further extend their lead but were also unable to convert.
Half Time: City of Lusaka 1-2 Riflemen FC
Coach Vesko made two changes at half time due to injuries to Francis Banda and Paul Ngoi, and a third tactical substitution where Charles Katongo was replaced. Harry Milanzi, Musonda Kabengele and Titus Chabuka entering the field.
Yamoto came out of the blocks quickly after the half time break and in the 46th minute they came close after a clever header from Lubinda Mundia was well saved by the keeper, diving high to his left hand side.
Up the other end 10 minutes later, Phiri made up for his earlier error with a fantastic save, tipping the ball over his bar after Riflemen produced a venomous volley from just inside the box.
After 62 minutes had been played, a Riflemen goal kick was misplaced and landed at the feet of Angel Lubamba around 30 yards from goal. Angel attacked the space, passing the Riflemen centre back, then rounding the keeper to finish well making the score 2-2.
The final 30 minutes produced a lot of back-and-forth football in the middle of the park, with few chances being created. Coach Vesko made two further attaching changes, bringing Papy Kabongo on for Alex Chanda and Emmanuel Kalala for Angel Lubamba.
Yamoto gave it their all and pressed to find the winner but the Division One side were headstrong in defense and managed to hold them off to take it to penalties.
Full Time: City of Lusaka 2-2 Riflemen FC (After 90 minutes)
City were first up to take a penalty with Harry Milanzi and were able to convert despite slightly scuffing the ball into the ground. Riflemen responded with a beautiful penalty into the top right.
Both sides scored their second penalty with Clement Shimonde netting for Yamoto but the first mistake came from City’s third penalty when Titus put his penalty over the top of the bar. Riflemen pilled the pressure on by scoring their third, giving them the lead at 3-2.
Emmanuel Kalala stepped up to take Yamoto’s fourth and he stuck it nicely into the bottom right corner, sending the keeper diving the wrong way.
City number one Joe Phiri then made a good stop to his right denying Riflemen to keep the score at 3-3 with one penalty each left to take. Yamoto scored their fourth through Papy Kabongo, and Riflemen replied to make it 4-4 and take the shootout to sudden death.
The first penalty was expertly dispatched by Matthew Sichone into the top corner. Then Riflemen fired wide of the left-hand post, City had snatched the penalty shootout 5-4 and were crowned Cup winners 2020.
As far as records show this was the first trophy lifted by Yamoto since 1964 when City of Lusaka won the League and Mosi Cup.
City of Lusaka now turn their attention back to the National First Division and their week 23 match against bottom of the table Zesco Shockers in Mongu.