Monday, June 24, 2024

Chiyangi defends Chipolopolo’s unconvincing CHAN win


NATIONAL team assistant coach Aggrey Chiyangi
NATIONAL team assistant coach Aggrey Chiyangi
Chipolopolo coach Aggrey Chiyangi has defended his team’s unconvincing display in Saturday’s 3-2 home win over Botswana in their 2020 CHAN second round, final leg qualifier at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

Chipolopolo came from behind twice against a very plucky Botswana to clinch a hard-fought-for victory to advance to the final qualifying stage 3-2 on aggregate following a 0-0 first leg draw on July 26 away in Francistown.

But there was little improvement if any by Zambia from the stuttering display by the same team that had beaten Botswana 1-0 in the 2019 COSAFA Cup final on June 8 in Durban.

“They are coming from pre-season rest of the previous season and to play a match of such magnitude is not easy, they have really pushed very hard,” Chiyangi said.

“And also for us, as we play the next the next round, we have to make sure we improve our physical condition.”

Chipolopolo rallied twice to secure their passage after Omaatla Kebatho put Botswana ahead in the 8th minute but Emmanuel Chabula equalized in the 12th minute.

Botswana restored their lead in the 21st minute through Segolame Boy but Zambia restored parity in dramatic style on the stroke of halftime when Kelvin Mubanga fired in a fine free kick.

The drama didn’t end there when 63rd minute substitute Bruce Musakanya tapped -in Mubanga’s pass just two minutes after coming on the pitch for Ernest Mbewe.

However, Zambia had goalkeeper Sebastian Mwange to thank after he made three critical saves after that to crash Botswana’s hopes.

“And the other thing is we have to look at the team. We have to work very hard to ensure that coordination of the team is better than what we did today,” Chiyangi said.

“Another thing we have to understand is that, yes, we have many players in Zambia, but you must understand that whichever player we look at, the first thing you have to look at is physical fitness.

“Football nowadays is played in two phases; it is attack and defence.

“Even though people cry for players, we pick on those two basis: players who can play in attack and defence.”

Meanwhile, Chipolopolo now face eSwatini in the final qualifying round away on September 21 while the final leg will follow in Lusaka on October 19.

Victor over both legs will qualify to the CHAN tournament that Cameroon will host this January.


  1. That indeed was unconvincing display by our Chipolopolo. Those two goals by Botswana was as a result of shambolic and poor communication by our defence which unfortunately continued through out the match and if we were paired against a more efficient team at goal we would have been punished. The technical team must also improve in reading the game and making timely substitutions.
    All in all it is good Chipolopolo carried the day and am optimistic the technical team and the players will pull up their socks.

    • Both Chiyangi and Numba did a great job, just confirm them as coaches, but still keep jobs at their clubs. Both coaches showed patriotism, they never gave up on that game.
      There was no player to blame, but praises only. That Larry Bwalya and Bruce where good. Mubanga should be playing defensive midfield.

    • Imwe mweBantu, what this reporter is telling us is that this CHAN tournament we’re trying to qualify for top place 6 months go!!!! So why are we wasting our time!!!????????????????

  2. Congratulations on that “skin of our teeth” victory Aggrey, but a few worrying issues stand out for me.
    a) All our national teams still give our opponents too much room to express themselves, allowing them to receive the ball freely, and turn or pass the ball at will! We need to get much closer, closing off passing lanes etc. We did it at AFCON 2012 but seem to have reverted to our old bad habits.
    b) The defensive midfielder position(s) is critical in modern football, in that regard identify or groom a player with good positional sense, good tackling skills/timing, ability to read play and make a pass, and to top it all, in possession of a good left/right foot to pose a scoring threat in and around the 18.
    c) We also need to work on improving our speed when transitioning into attack…

  3. It’s good we did not go to AFCON we could have been embarrassed with that kind of low play. And we planning for world cup, oh be serious

  4. We thank aggrey so far but the truth is we need calibre in coaching.We need a coach who will devise game system based on opponent weakness.We lost strenth in the midfield and needed a faster wing play.Pitso masimane talked highly of Emmanuel zulu as one of the players with potential. We need such changes unlike really taking time to make decisions. All in all we need high expertise in chipolololo coaching bench before we start talking of going back to the drawing board as usual.

  5. My coach this is not Coosada were you do laboratory work this is most desirable trophy in Africa that why our friends get most experienced prayer’s you selection and the competition doesn’t tarry,you was suppose to win both home and away game, not what you people do,we Zambian we love the game but you coaches you disappoint as, soon this stadium we not be full if you will be making this kind of selection, look at shopololo, can’t you learn something from them, look at Zimbabwe,south Nigeria to mention the few. We need stronger middle traiker with skill, dime, wings with strategy ,good defense people who don’t watch there opponent and big screen.

  6. It is not a bad idea to have a coach use services are only at national team level, this allows them to focus and to watch league games each weak . Once they are detached from from club commitments and loyalty, they can be less biased in team selection.

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