Zambia oust Germany from Under-20 World Cup

EPA/Wallace Woon

Zambia pulled off one of the greatest results in the country's international history when they defeated Germany 4-3 in a thrilling second round clash at the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea on Wednesday.

The Zambians had to come from behind after Philipp Ochs had put the Germans in front in the first half, but after the break they seized control of the game only to concede two late goals and allow Germany to take the game to extra time.

Emmanuel Banda, Fashion Sakala and Enock Mwepu scored for the African side, but Suat Serdar set up a nervy finish with a second for the Germans, before Jonas Arweiler grabbed a dramatic equaliser.

But Shemmy Mayembe grabbed the winner as he swung the tie back in Zambia's favour and sent the African champions through to a quarter-final against either France or Italy, who meet tomorrow.

For Germany it is the second tournament in a row in which they have lost to African opposition having been ousted in the quarter-finals by Mali two years ago in New Zealand.

A feature of the Zambian play in this tournament is the way they have stepped up a gear in the second period of matches and that rang true again.

Germany were the better side in the first half and took a deserved lead when Ochs curled a brilliant free-kick from 35 yards into the top-corner. They took that lead into the half-time break, but in the second period it was a different game.

Zambia were level five minutes after the restart when Mwepu's attempted bicycle-kick was miscued, but fell kindly for Banda, who thundered the ball past German goalkeeper Svend Brodersen.

Young Chipolopolo grabbed the lead on 68 minutes through the excellent Sakala, who must be a contender for Player of the Tournament, as he drilled the ball past Brodersen from an angle. The keeper might have done better but the ball was hit with immense power and swerved through the air.

The game looked secure when Mwepu added a third for the African side as he finished a break that saw Zambia with a four-on-two advantage, taking a pass from Patson Daka and finishing, but they could not hold on.

Serdar pulled one back for the Germans to make it 3-2 with a superb flicked finish that beat Zambia goalkeeper Mangani Banda at his near post.

And the comeback was complete as Arweiler collected the ball with time and space in the box, and his low shot nestled into the bottom corner of the goal in the fourth minute of injury-time to send the game to an extra 30 minutes.

But Zambia grabbed the initiative again through Mayembe as he netted a famous goal, and despite more late drama in their box, this time they held on until the final whistle.