Zambia beats struggling South Africa

GERALD IMRAY AP Sports Writer Published:

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Zambia received a timely boost ahead of the defense of its African Cup of Nations title with a confident 1-0 win over tournament host South Africa in a friendly on Wednesday.

North African trio and fellow Cup of Nations hopefuls Morocco, Tunisia and Morocco all lost, however, while Gabon -- which didn't qualify for next year's continental championship -- held Portugal to a 2-2 draw.

Elsewhere in Africa in the final round of international friendlies of 2012, Congo had its preparations for South Africa next year hampered by a 1-0 loss to Burkina Faso in Morocco. Another finalist, Angola, drew 1-1 with Republic of Congo.

Ghana beat Cape Verde 1-0 in Portugal, while Ivory Coast, the Cup of Nations title favorite, impressed in a 3-0 win away in Austria.