Zambia eases past Sudan

Second chance ... Zambia skipper Christopher Katongo celebrates his goal (AAP)

Zambia booked its place in the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 16 years after a comfortable 3-0 win over 10-man Sudan.

Zambia was hardly troubled after Stophira Sunzu's 15th-minute opener and second-half goals from skipper Christopher Katongo and James Chamanga ensured its progress.

Sudan's hopes were effectively ended with the 64th-minute dismissal of Saifeldin Ali as he gave away a penalty which Katongo had initially seen saved before driving in the rebound.

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 the 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 the winning margin in the closing stages when Chamanga curled in a neat finish from the edge of the area.

Source PRESS ASSOCIATION