Zambia U-20 set winning tone

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 09:56:21 +0000


By Grace Chaile-Lesoetsa

THE Zambia Under-20 yesterday put up a stellar performance to see off saw off their stubborn South African counterparts via a 2-1scoreline in a thrilling international friendly played at the Nkoloma stadium after a training camp in Europe.

The Beston Chambeshi-drilled said outplayed their opponents in most parts of the first half with flee-flowing tiki-taka football to suffocate ten opponents who were merely reduced to chasing their shadows in the opening stanza with an even distribution of the ball across the field.

The Junior Chipolopolo however suffered an early scare when defendable defender Moses Nyondo was substituted for Benson Chali in the second minute due to injury but his replacement did not disappoint as he demonstrated a high level of discipline and intensity in the game.

Zambia could have taken an early lead in the sixth minute when versatile Enock Mwepu forced Tshabalala into a descent save after benefiting from a pass engineered by the nimble-footed Chrispine Sakulanda from the right wing.

A telling moment came in the 27th minute when Edward Chilufya’s solo effort was parried for a corner which Mwepu dealt with precision with a glancing header to break the deadlock from a Harrison Chisala delivery.

Zambia could have doubled the lead in the 36th minute after Kenneth Kalunga lofted the ball into the box but Sakulanda headed over the bar.

In second half, South Africa looked collected and put Zambia’s defence under pressure with their skilful striker Sibongakonke Mbatha doing all the donkey work by retreating deep in the midfield from time to time to collect the ball  and start the attacks as Zambia seemed to have run out of steam.

As Amajinta pressed for an equalise, Zambia started exploiting their opponent’s defence in search for a winner and it came as no surprise when South African defender Aghmat Ceres slotted the ball into his own net under pressure from Edward Chilufya with 68 minutes played.

South Africa’s consolation came six minutes later through a penalty when Solomon Sakala brought down Khanyisa Mayo and Liam Jordan made no mistake to concert with precision.

Speaking after the match, South African coach Thabo Senong said Zambia had quality and determined players. Senong said his players suffered from anxiety and the heat hence took time to adapt.

And Chambeshi noted that his boys needed the International friendly to boost their confidence ahead of the tournament while Sports minister Moses Mawere said he was impressed by the performance of the junior Chipolopolo and expressed confidence in the team reaching the semi-finals of the tournament.

The two teams were using the match to gauge their readiness for the competitive AFCON tournament which will start on February 26, and end on March 12, 2017 in Zambia.

Zambia is in Group A alongside Mali, Egypt and Guinea while South Africa will face Cameroon, Senegal and Sudan.

The match was also watched by Local Government and Housing minister Vincent Mwale, FAZ president  Andrew Kamanga and members of his executive


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button