Zambia’s U23 friendly date against Kuwait over Christmas has elated coach Osward Mutapa.
Zambia will use the Kuwait friendly to warm-up for their big 2023 U23 AFCON final round qualifier against Egypt this coming March.
Egypt is also the defending U23 AFCON champion.
The Kuwait friendly is good news for Mutapa who had jumped straight into the deep end of competitive action with his home-based team in October for the second round qualifier against Sierra Leone Zambia won 2-1 on aggregate.
“It is important that we should have such friendlies, especially for our local players having in mind that they have to compete with the other senior players and the professionals outside,” Mutapa said.
Mutapa will again be without any foreign-based players for the friendly.
“Club football is different from international football and that is the reason that at this time we have friendlies so that we try and experiment with the same boys that we are talking about,” Mutapa said.
Zambia is aiming for a third successive U23 AFCON outing but has yet to qualify for the Olympics.
The top three finishers at the U23 AFCON earn automatic qualification to the Olympics while the fourth place finisher goes to an inter-continental playoff against an Asian team.