Soccer-Lesotho snatch late equaliser to dent Zambia hopes

MASERU, March 24 Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:05pm GMT

MASERU, March 24 (Reuters) - Litsepe Marabe scored with a rasping long-range shot as unfancied Lesotho grabbed a dramatic late equaliser to draw 1-1 with 10-man Zambia in World Cup qualification on Sunday.

The result is a blow to Zambia's hopes and gives a boost to Group D to rivals Ghana, who play later on Sunday.

"We might come to regret these two points lost later in the campaign," said Zambia coach Herve Renard.

It might have been worse for the 2012 Nations Cup winners as their feisty hosts could have snatched a rare win for the small mountain kingdom had they been more accurate in front of goal.

Zambia played almost the entire second half down to 10 men after goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene was sent off for a professional foul.

They took the lead, however, when Collins Mbesuma ghosted in at the back post to put Zambia ahead with 17 minutes to play.

But they failed to close out the match as Marabe equalised in dramatic fashion with a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area to delight the 20,000-strong home crowd.

Marabe might have grabbed a winner in stoppage time but his wild shot went wide.

Lesotho, who lost their opening qualifier 7-0 in Ghana, are third in Group D with two points, while Zambia are top on seven. (Editing by Toby Davis; mark.gleeson@thomsonreuters.com +27828257807 Messaging mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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