The Zambia Under 23 national team’s character comes under test on Thursday when they face defending All Africa Games champions Cameroon tomorrow afternoon in a semifinal clash at Boumerdes.
Tomorrows meeting will be the two team’s third successive face-off at an All Africa Games football tournament and will be second successive time they will clash at the penultimate stage of the same event.
Zambia has lost both their last two times they have faced Cameroon.
At the 1999 finals in South Africa, Zambia lost 4-3 on post-match penalties after their match ended scoreless to win silver under Ben Bamfuchile.
And at the 2003 games in Nigeria, Cameroon won 2-1 in the semifinals with Zambia this time under the helm of Peter Kaumba whose team finished 4th after losing 4-1 post-match penalties to Ghana in the 3rd and 4th place playoff at the end of a 2-2 draw.
Kaumba has a big task ahead to win hearts with a team not many observers thought would not go far.
His team has been labeled as a squad without the pedigree of the class of 2003 that had the likes of Christopher Katongo and Collins Mbesuma in Nigeria and was later joined by Jacob Mulenga during the 2004 Olympic qualifiers.
Despite the skeptics, this Under 23 team is unbeaten in all their nine competitive games played to date since the squad was constituted in October last year with three draws and six victories.
The major highlights of the six wins include a 2-0 victory over much fancied Cote d’Ivoire in their opening Olympic Games Group B qualifier on June 3 including crushing Egypt 3-1 last Friday on July 13 in Group B tie at the tournament.
Kaumba’s team faces Cameroon tomorrow without first-choice goalkeeper Kalililo Kakonje.
Kakonje is suspended following a red card sustained in their dramatic come-from-behind 1-1 draw against Algeria in the final Group B game on July 16 when Zambia rallied thanks to a stoppage time equalizer from striker Christopher Musonda to see the 10-man team book its semifinal berth.
And so Power Dynamos goalkeeper Rabson Muchelen’ nganga will take Kakonje’s place in-between the posts, who incidentally was the latter’s understudy at the club two seasons ago.
Kaumba will however be relieved to have key striker Given Singuluma back to the fold who returns after the missing the Algeria game due to suspension.
Furthermore, Kaumba will be hoping the same spirit from their come from behind draw against Algeria will return against Cameroon to end their jinx against the defending champions ton help carry Zambia to the finals.
Meanwhile, the winner will face victor of the other semifinal match between Guinea and Tunisa on July 23 while the battle for Bronze will take place 24 hours earlier.
“Once beaten twice shy” Kaumba should plan a greater way stratergy to to over physical Cameroonians. The secret now days football is beyond skill but goals.
Go Zambia!Go and bring the TROPHY.
I really sympathise with those who think Zambia will go all the way in this tournament. I am saying this going by past performances. How long are we going to say we could have won that game, good luck next time. Its too much now. As much as I would like them to win, I also feel that we have a big problem in Zambia as far as sport (not only soccer) is concerned. The problem is complicated, ranging from lack of good sponsorship from govt and the private sector, lack of modern sports facilities , to poverty stricken players (sports men and women) who after have tested a bit of success they become content and get finished. Lack of die hard attitude and confidence on players also has an impact on lack of success in Zambian sports. An unexpected victory by the U-23 agaist Cameroun will be highly appreciated. I dont know what to say really. We cannot just be second or third best forever.
Ba #2 you have pointed out good insights but you lack hope and patriotism in you. Once a Zambian always one and i will keep supporting the boys. Govt is the major stockholder in all psorting activies but the private sector is very behind. Keep up with good works Zambia and never give up.
Ba #3 its not about lacking hope and patriotism. I am an ardent soccer and sports fan in general. But sometimes its very painfull when you are expecting something good from our players and it doesnt happen. Unless you are saying you are content with being second , third or fourth best. I know this looks like a Zambian thing. We will see what happens in Algeria.
Gentlemen anybody with info about Collins Mbesuma.Has he found any club yet.We need this boy to settle i beleive this for the good our Snr. National Team.
Nobody gave zambia a chance in our group with Egypt, Algeria and Guinea. But see what happened? We walloped the young pharaohs!!!
Granted, It will be a difficulty game against cameroun, but let us wish the lads well. This might just be it. You never know.
Go Zambia Go
All we need are Goals!!!
It is funny, I always thot the word “fan” was derived from “fanatic” which to me shows unreserved, illogical and often times inexplicable devotion to something. Being Zedian, I have tried to instill a sense of “let me not take soccer seriously when Zambia plays” or “They will lose again, let me not get my hopes up”. But guess what, I always watch, I always cheer and despite my numerous disappointments, I will always continue to. If only to instill a sense of positivity that may (somehow) pass on to the boys doing the hard work on the ground. So please try to keep this negativity to a minimum. You never know how true the laws of positive attraction may be (see “the Secret” if you haven’t). Lets keep this air of positivity. We just beat Egypt 3-1. I am hoping we go all the way and win Gold. And then we take the world cup in 2010 (Hey, I have to think big. It’s my right!)
I got a DVD copy of “The Secret” yesterday from a friend studying in the UK. I am yet to watch it. probably this evening.
I have read quite alot about the Law behind “The Secret”.
I got a DVD copy of â€œThe Secretâ€ yesterday from a friend studying in the UK. I am yet to watch it. probably this evening.
I have read quite alot about the Law behind â€œThe Secretâ€ but i cant wait to watch the movie.
I have a feeling U-23 are making it to the finals where they will meet Guinea again. Thereafter, who knows.
It is fantastic that we have beaten Egypt at both the Under20 and 23. 3-0 in Congo and then 3-1 in Algeria. This is progress and I am very postive with proper training we will reach the Olympics in China, and I am conviced we shall soon have more players in Europe. We are on the right path. Imagine the under23 never even went into camp before these games. Well done boys
What Zambia most times is forgets that a football match is 90 minutes plus and what is decisive by scoring more goals than the opponents. We also perform well in the early age of the tournament but lax which we are required to put more effort. 1988 olympic quartal was a good lesson. 1974/1994 Africa cup was another dying hard experience. So boys bring us pride you should dream of Gold nothing else. You can do it we have been Cameroon in 1984 at Independence stadia how sweet it would be to repeat this history
Hey guys, can somebody post the latest results before sleeping. The game ended an hour and half ago. Anyone pliz.
Cameroon has beaten Zambia 2-1
Phew! There we go, again.
Chansoni bane.2-1 in favour of west Africans.Teams from west Africa seem to be succeeding the north Africans in having an upper hand over Zambia.We no longer have problems edging Egypt,Algeria etc but teams like Chad,Nigeria,Cameroun eh they are a big threat to us nowadays.We pray dear God that one day we’ll be champions.
This was predictable, our local coaches lack technical know how to handle important matches. To make it worse, FAZ has no interest in progressing a team for fear of paying wining bonuses and extended stay at the tournament…Useless Zambian Coaches and administrators
Thumbs up to our boys for reaching this far given the circumstances under which preparations were done. They honestly deserve our praise as they were just assembled 2 days before the tournament whereas cameroon were preparing in a soccer tournament in south Africa. We shall continue supporting you as you take on Tunisia in the third and fourth play-offs. I also hope that the government realise that you have families to look after and should do the obvious by paying you your allowances especially that parliament has ratified salary icreaments to the president, ministers and MPs.
Ian, what type of excuse is that. Failure to plan is planing to fail. Zambia national team is just there ti make numbers, and possibly waste of our National resources.
HK, i agree but is that the reason to blame the boys?
I dont see any reason why the fans should vent their anger on the players when the planning aspect is the job description of the administrators. The U23 team was not prepared at all for this tournament. Mind you, our league has also been on recess for the last three weeks. There is a strong possibilities that some of our players were called to camp from pubs and bars just before departure. I will not be suprised to hear that some of the players were even injured but feigned their injuries so as to make the trip. If adequate preparations were done, probably some of these items i have highlighted could have been dealt with in good time. Given the advanced reasons, iam still proud of their achievement!!
Dr. HK was kind of a Tonga man are who is critising negatively. You are getting soccer is a game of probability a win, lose or draw. Planing and logistics is administrative on the pitch we need tactics, pyschology, Motivation, Patriotism, wanting to win, condition, mind preparedness, explosive, reactive and power and lucky only thru these factors can you become a victor.Remember the opponents want the same achievements.
How can you say they are just making up the numbers? Qualifying for a semi final is a good achievement. I have noticed a lot of negativity towards the national teams. I agree that the talent is succeeding to a point despite the lack of planning and FAZ support. I am in Australia where despite the Socceroos qualifying for the 2nd round of the World Cup, Football development here is very poor. I’ll tell you that Zambian youth would run circles around the Australians, because of the natural talent. The only reason Australia qualified and did well at the world cup was because they hired a masterful tactician who turned good players into and excellent team. Now Australia has a local coach, and they’re struggling in the Asian Cup. So I would wholeheartedly agree that if Zambia had more technical expertise, instead of just making it out of the groups (U20 and U23), they will go a lot further.
Sorry Mary CAM 2 and ZAM 1,now just to look at the 3rd medal and that if we win the next game for 3rd place. Sport is war and if you don’t pay you boys and girls then it will take to win many medals.Some countries here are paying there boys and girls at the All Afric games 100 dollars per day and yet Zambia it is 30 dolars per.For inter party talks it is 500 per day and with nothing coming out . Zimbabwe 160 dollar’s
per day with such problems.Chliukotuleya
Well done under 23 national team. Thank You coaches for the job well done. We are proud of you. Lets do much better next time.
You now remember what I said at #2 and 4. This is some kind of a conditioned reflex. You can easily feel it that its about to happen. There we go again, third/fourth best. Zambian soccer is cursed. It cant always be like that. We have been in soccer for a long time, and we expect to be performing just like other soccer power houses in Africa. Shame on Zambia.
#25, Who cursed it? You? It is the collective thinking of your kind that is a danger to our game. Grow up!! Shame on you.
Zambia sure what have we done to have these results. i woke up thinking our boys have won but poor me another west Africa time has won. First it was Nigeria now its Cameron these guys are not even afraid of saying that they will win Zambia. I think something big is wrong in Zambia lets face ever since i was young i have been dreaming of Zambia winning. Is it ever going to happen
We are tired of being losers. The next victim is the senior national team which will be beaten by south Africa in september. How can we expect soccer to improve when we have no stadiums and have malnourished
……..what you sow is what you reap……………
South Africa for sure will win it is the must. our place is fourth, third if we try and last. Am here in South Africa and i wont watch the game
Ba Chibwe #27&29.Take it easy.Football is a game and only well prepared teams produce good results.Its seems you want our team to beat others with no proper preparations.Football is no talk but action.In Zambia,all we do is talk.We are not practical.It is important to look at the cause of the down fall of our soccer.What is the government doing about it? You cant expect ill prepared teams,sent to any competition,to bring back good reasults.Always there is a problem of funds.But how come we manage to hold very expensive political functions?Even war torn countries like Angola are well organised than us.There is nothing like a curse.There is too much POLITICAL interference,the other day the President made an announcement about the Chinese coming to do an inspetion on the site for the stadium.People, were are the project managers for the same project?The other SADC countries will benefit from the 2010 world cup not us.Teams wont be looking for sites but proper and good stadia.
# 26 BORN POOR, with a rotten brain. Dont you think swine. These were my views and I m simply exercise my freedom of speech, who are you asshole.
Excuse my language posted earlier guys. But I still do not understand why this is continously happening in ZAMBIAN soccer. I agree with the sentiments by some guys that South Africa will win in September. Its true know doubt about it. Bafana will carry the day as the have made up a program for friendly matches. We are not talking about countries like Malawi, Namibia, etc. We are talking about Scotland, Italy, USA, Uruguay (not U-20) etc. South Africa are very serious this time as they want to make a name in Ghana even before the 2010 WC. I live here and I see it. I know FAZ cannot afford such big teams. But atleast formidable good friendly matches with Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Nigeria and so on. The only decent friendly match we play is against the DRC. There is just too much talk Nokuyumfwisha bwino sana before a crutial match where Zambia gets clobbered. I know the guys(players) are trying their best. But its not enough. There is something big really wrong there.
We expect to much when we dont put in much effort.
Investiment in soccer is the only solution. Players need to be motivated.
…what you sow is what you reap….
Look you guys the fact is we can not expect our team to finish better than their preparations, never. The boys have done well, that is all, anyone who is thinking otherwise must have his or her head examined. What do you expect, no preparations and just win the gold medal like that, TAKWABA bane, let us try to understand. Be realistic and give praise where it is due. Given the circumstances Kaumba has done well. I do not care if we come out 4TH, for the boys did not prepare at all. Why not face facts
This is a country of losers. What are you saying. What preparation. You can prepare, the same results will come.
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