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Avell Chitundu’s late winner saw Zambia edge Tunisia 1-0 to top Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) Group B, while Wednesday’s late game in Casablanca saw Togo hold Cameroon to a late 1-1 draw.

Zambia, whose star striker Barbra Banda remains ineligible, with CAF and the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) each blaming each other, dominated Tunisia from the get-go. They had their first golden chance on the half-hour mark as Xiomara Mapepa was fouled in the penalty area by Rania Aouina. However, Lubandji Ochumba blasted the spot-kick over the bar.

In the 43rd minute, Tunisia had a penalty shout of their own for handball, but after a VAR review it was turned away.

Zambia came flying out of the blocks early in the second half with opposition ‘keeper Soulayma Jebrani making a series of saves. Lushomo Mweemba came closest to scoring with a dipping free-kick from near halfway.

In the 67th minute, Mapepa’s free-kick from near the right touchline deceived Jebrani, who attempted to tip it over and was beaten. The goal was mysteriously disallowed after a VAR review, possibly due to a view that the Tunisian goalkeeper was impeded.

The Copper Queens, though, had the last laugh in stoppage time. Mweemba’s free-kick was flicked on by Grace Chanda for Chitundu to stroke home the winner.

The late game got off to a surprising start when underdogs Togo were awarded an early penalty and Afi Aféapa Woedikou put them ahead from the spot in the 28th minute.

In the 39th minute, Estelle Johnson equalised, heading home Gabrielle Onguéné’s free-kick.

Onguéné hit the corner of the woodwork with another free-kick three minutes later and Togo continued to struggle to defend Cameroon’s set-pieces. However, the Indomitable Lionesses let their chances slip and became the first team in AWCON history to drop points to Togo.

Zambia lead the group with four points from two games, while Tunisia have three, Cameroon two and Togo one. The top two teams from all three groups, as well as the two best third-placed teams, will advance to the quarterfinals.

By Amara

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