The southern Africans earned their first semi final ticket in 16 years in style with their victory over the only east African representatives in the tournament
Zambia defeated 10-man Sudan 3-0 in the first quarter-final match of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Bata, Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.
Stophila Sunzu, Christopher Katongo and James Chamanga scored the goals that earned the Chipolopolo their victory.
The southern Africans looked the more purposeful side when the game began. They ran with the ball and dominated much of the possession as the Falcons of Jediane played catch up.
Their first attempt came on 13 minutes when Emmanuel Mayuka saw his volley stopped by goalkeeper El Hadi Salim.
The Chipolopolo were rewarded for their pressure two minutes later as Sunzu perfectly timed his run to get on the end of a Rainford Kalaba free kick and nod past Salim.
The Zambians almost doubled their lead on 34 minutes when Chisamba Lungu’s volley was held by Salim.
The Sudanese, regaining confidence after a long period of dominance by their opponents, had their first attempt on goal moments later when Mohammed Ahmed Basher’s volley was kept out by Kennedy Mweene.
The east Africans returned from the break more determined to play for a result as they took the fight to the Zambians. But they struggled to create chances to equalise.
The Falcons of Jediane nearly pulled one back after a series of clear passes but Mudather El Tahir’s volley sailed above the Zambian crossbar.
Minutes later, Basher shot straight at Mweene who suddenly became busier as the game wore on.
Sudan’s resolve was broken when defender Saif Eldin received a second yellow card and was sent off for his reckless lunging tackle on Kalaba, who was awarded a penalty kick.
Captain Katongo stepped up to play it and needed a second attempt to score after Salim stopped his first effort. Katongo’s quick response saw him pounce on the rebound to shoot past the outstretched goalkeeper and double the Zambian’s lead on 66 minutes.
Afterwards it was the Chipolopolo all the way as the Falcons of Jediane could not find the breakthrough that they badly needed.
Substitute Chamanga then put the game beyond the Sudanese with a late goal on 86 minutes.
After failing at the quarter-final in 2010 via penalty kicks to Nigeria, Zambia will go forward with full confidence that they can win the tournament for the first time this term. They will take on the winner in the battle between Tunisia and Ghana in the semi-finals on Wednesday.