Zambia started their 2022 Fifa World Cup campaign on a high after securing a 2-1 win over Mauritania at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott on Friday.
Captain Enock Mwepu opened the scoring for the visitors early in the first half before Prince Mumba added the second in the second half. Niass Amadou managed to pull one back for the Lions of Chinguetti but it did nothing to stop the visitors from collecting their first win of the campaign.
It was the hosts who made their intentions clear from the off and in the ninth minute, they threatened with a free-kick taken by Adama Ba. But a minute later, it was Chipolopolo who were celebrating when skipper Mwepu managed to beat the defenders before tapping home.
The goal was a wake-up call for Lions of Chinguetti who reacted by increasing their tempo. Adama was a handful for the visitors and he posed a threat any time he had the ball.
They finished the first half well, with Bakary N'diaye making an attempt from a free-kick but narrowly missed the target. As such, Zambia went into the half-time break with a narrow advantage.
A slow start, after the pause, ensured Chipolopolo get their second goal in the 57th minute courtesy of Mumba. It was a goal that gave the visitors the confidence they needed considering it was their first match in their road to Qatar.
Mauritania halved the deficit in the 68th minute through Amadou after a well-executed move. The goal set up a tense finale but Zambia held on to go home with maximum points.
The win took Chipolopolo top of the group, pending the result between Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea who are scheduled to play later on.
Meanwhile, Ivory Coast were held to a goalless draw away to Mozambique in a Group D game.
The Elephants had hoped to get a win owing to the quality of their squad, but it was not the case as the determined hosts managed to get a point from the fixture.
In the same group, Cameroon will be playing the Flames of Malawi.
Mauritania XI: Namori Diaw, Ahmed Rachid, Bakari N'Diaye, Abdoul Ba, Mohamedhen Beibou, Abdallahi Mahmoud, Yali Dellahi, Ibrahima Coulibaly, Ismael Diakite, Adama Ba, Khalil Bessam
Zambia XI: Cyril Chibwe, Benedict Chebeshi, Rodrick Kabwe, Dominic Chanda, Solomon Sakala, Prince Mumba, Edward Chilufya, Lubambo Musonda, Boyd Musonda, Enock Mwepu, Patson Daka