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Angola reach final with ill-tempered win over Zambia

© Reuters Limited 2001

LUSAKA, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Angola upstaged Zambia to reach the Cosafa Cup final with an exciting 4-2 win on penalties, after the incident-packed match had ended in a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Lesotho referee Samuel Moektsi showed three red cards and seven yellows in an ill-tempered match that needed police intervention to restore calm among the players. Zambian defender Elijah Tana and coach Jan Brouwer were both sent off in the first half while Angolan captain Akwa received his marching orders two minutes from time. Akwa was sent off for swinging out with his elbow on a Zambian defender as he attempted to shield the ball.

With Akwa reluctant to follow orders, match officials had to call the police to persuade the former Benfica striker to leave the pitch. He will now miss the first leg of next month's final. The game was full of bruising tackles and furious tempers as Angola repeated the semifinal win over Zambia in 1999, the year they went on to win the regional southern African championship. Akwa gave Angola an early lead from a suspiciously offside position, volleying the cross from Flavio past goalkeeper Collins Mbulo.

Zambia's cause looked further undermined when Tana was sent off for retaliation, needlessly kicking the heels of Angolan striker Flavio after he had won a foul near the corner flag. But Zambia equalised within 60 seconds as Angola's centre back Juliao missed the ball and allowed Chaswe Nsofwa to sneak in and score. It was the third goal in as many Zambian games for Nsofwa. Zambian coach Jan Brouwer was then sent off as he bizarrely stormed on to the pitch in an attempt halt the match to make a substitution and readjust his defence.

Angolan goalkeeper Marito, playing his first international for more than two years, made several spectacular saves in the second half to keep the scores level, while at the other end, team mate Filipe struck the Zambian crossbar with a ferocious long-range effort in the 81st minute. In the penalty shootout, Rotson Kilambe missed Zambia's third kick and captain Jones Mwewa had the fourth saved by Marito, leaving Flavio to secure a 4-2 win. Angola now play the winner of next Saturday's semifinal between Malawi and defending champions Zimbabwe in Blantyre. The final is to be played over two legs in September.

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