Zambia ease into last four
Renard's men take a step closer to an emotional final appearance
Last Updated: February 4, 2012 6:50pm
Christopher Katongo: Scored Zambia's second goal to secure a place in the semi-finals
Zambia ended a long wait for a place in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals after recording a convincing 3-0 victory over Sudan.
Goals from Stophira Sunzu, Christopher Katongo and James Chamanga sent Zambia into the last four for the first time in 16 years as Sudan also had Saifeldin Ali sent off.
It meant Herve Renard's side moved a step closer to a dream final in Libreville, Gabon, next week.
At present the city is most associated in Zambia with one of the country's most tragic events, when a plane carrying the Zambian national side refuelled there before crashing into the Atlantic Ocean in 1993, killing all 30 people on board.
A minute's silence was observed before Saturday's match in Bata for the victims of this week's stadium riot in Egypt.
When the action started Zambia quickly forged ahead with the simplest of free-kick moves, as Sunzu headed in from close range after Rainford Kalaba's delivery.
Sudan goalkeeper Akram El Hadi made two excellent saves to keep his side in touch at the break, denying Chisamba Lungu and Emmanuel Mayuka in quick succession.
Zambia got the important second goal on 65 minutes after Ali was shown a second caution after fouling Kalaba in the area.
Katongo saw his spot-kick saved by El Hadi but he was first to the rebound to ensure his side took a 2-0 lead.
Zambia added further gloss to their winning margin in the closing stages when Chamanga curled in a neat finish from the edge of the area.
Africa Cup of Nations Group A
Africa Cup of Nations Group B
Africa Cup of Nations Group C
Africa Cup of Nations Group D