Nervy Spain edge out Zambia
© Foto-net

A Zambia side boosted by the return of Clifford Mulenga made Spain work hard for their 2-1 win at the Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.

Spain kept faith with the midfield unit that turned around their opening game against Uruguay, with Sunny Stephen and Adrian Lopez both named in the starting line-up, while Zambia were finally able to call on their star man. It was Mulenga who drove the Africans forward in the early stages, combining with Sebastian Mwansa and Emmanuel Mayuka to drive the Spanish defence to distraction. La Roja drew first blood though, when Mario Suarez converted from the penalty spot with 30 minutes gone after Henry Nyambe was penalised for a foul in the box.

Undeterred, the Copper Bullets continued to drive forward, a tactic that left the Spaniards with plenty of space to exploit. The blond-haired Diego Capel took full toll by scampering away down the left and crossing for an unmarked Juan Manuel Mata to fire home the second just before the interval.

George Lwandamina's young hopefuls stuck gamely to their task and were finally rewarded when William Njobvu shrugged off the attentions of Stephen to slip the ball under Adan 16 minutes from time. Mulenga then almost brought them level when his acrobatic scissor kick flew just wide.

Suffering a severe case of jitters, Spain resorted to long balls in an effort to catch the opposing defence off guard. Crowd favourites Zambia followed suit as the match came to an exciting conclusion. And although the Africans carved out the better chances, the boys in red clung on for the points.

Spain's final game is against Jordan in Burnaby on Saturday, while Zambia travel to Victoria to take on Uruguay.