Zambia kept their 2018 CHAN qualification hopes alive on Saturday when they rallied from two-down to draw 2-2 away with Bafana Bafana at Buffalo Park Stadium in East London.
Bafana scored in the first half when Ryan Moon took a attractive corner kick and found Gift Motupa at the far post who made no mistakes in the 39th minute.
The two sides will close this tie on Saturday at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium with the victor over two legs grabbing a ticket to the Kenya 2018 African Nations Championship.
Based on the frenetic week that he had in assembling a team of quality, coach Baxter will know that his team has its work cut out for them as they prepare for the return leg fixture to be played in Zambia on 19 August. South Africa replied with two quick attacks but they yielded nothing. Moments later Motupa put South Africa ahead from the resultant corner kick after capitalising from a Zambia goalkeeper's spill and the striker finished the gift with aplomb.
Sundowns' Sibusiso Khumalo is the third player retained‚ in the midfield‚ where he plays alongside Bidvest Wits' Jabulani Shongwe‚ Jamie Webber of Stellenbosch FC and Dumisani Zuma of Bloemfontein Celtic.
That second goal had to come after some sustained pressure when Booysen finished off during a goal mouth scramble following a corner kick by Zuma.
Zambia pulled a goal back following some sloppy marking by the home team as Martin Phiri scored into an empty net with a header to make it 2-1.
The goal came just after Bafana were reduced to 10 men when defender Tercious Malepe was sent off for a body check block on a Zambian opponent, which resulted in the SA player receiving his second yellow card of the match.
Down to ten men, Bafana were left short in defence and Zambia took full control of this when Augustine Mulenga volleyed home from the edge of the box in the dying seconds of the game, 2-2.