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Zambia and Zimbabwe renew rivalry in ‘celebratory’ match

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by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 15:00


The Chipolopolo of Zambia are set to face Zimbabwe in an international friendly as the country celebrates the new dawn in the government.

The Zimbabwean Football Association has confirmed the match is set to be a celebratory friendly on December 23 at National Sports Stadium, Harare.

Zimbabwe will celebrate their new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from Robert Mugabe, the long serving president who held the seat for over three decades.

Furthermore, a legends match involving Zimbabwe and South Africa will curtain the international friendly.

“As the custodians of the nation’s most popular sport code, ZIFA duly appreciates the sincere call by His Excellency for every citizen regardless of political orientation, tribe, gender, colour or creed to positively contribute towards the building of our nation,” said ZIFA.

“Sports in general and football in particular are a proven catalyst for unity, peace and social cohesion.

“We are confident that the new start that the nation has been granted in the hands of His Excellency Mnangagwa will lead not only to the revival but flourishing success of sport.”

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Bassogog – Why the forward missed Zambia clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Bassogog - Why the forward missed Zambia clash

epa06049960 Christian Bassogog (R) of Cameroon and Antonio Ruediger of Germany in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 group B soccer match between Germany and Cameroon at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, 25 June 2017. EPA/ARMANDO BABANI

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017. 19:00


The forward was a noticeable absentee in the Cameroon attack as the Indomitable Lions locked horns with Zambia on Saturday.

Chipolopolo hosted Cameroon in the final 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group B match which was played at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

The encounter was deemed a dead rubber as the two African giants had already been eliminated from World Cup contention.

Without Bassogog, the Indomitable Lions lacked some vital creative spark and they drew 2-2 with the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions.

Vincent De Paul Atangana, the Cameroon team press officer, explained that Bassogog arrived in the Indomitable Lions camp carrying a knee injury.

The Henan Jianye forward was then ruled out of the Group B encounter and Clarence Bitang was brought in as Bassogog’s replacement.

Reigning African champions Cameroon’s next match is against Comoros in the 2019 AFCON qualifier which is scheduled to take place in March, 2018.

Bassogog, 22, will be nursing his injury during the off season as he awaits the 2018 Chinese Super League campaign which is expected to begin next year.

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2018 World Cup Qualifier: Zambia 2-2 Cameroon – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Nov 11, 2017. 16:53


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group B match between Zambia and Cameroon at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

Lineups:

Zambia XI: Mweene, Malama, Kapumbu, Tembo, Sunzu, Chama, Mulenga, Mwepu, Mwila, Daka, Sakala.

Cameroon XI: Ondoa, Nouhou, Ngadeu, Yaya, Leuko, Zambo, Siani, Boumal, Njie, Aboubakar, Ngamaleu.

Commentary:

91′ – GOAL! Yaya! Zambia 2-2 Cameroon. Yaya snatches a late equalizer with a good header.

90′ – The fourth official has added four minutes.

88′ – Zambia sub: Mbewe IN, Daka OUT.

85′ – Zambia sub: Banda IN, Mwepu OUT.

80′ – Daka, the Zambia striker, is ruled offside as the hosts continue to launch attacks.

76′ – Zambia sub: Ngonga IN, Mwila OUT.

75′ – Fifteen minutes left for Cameroon to snatch a late equalizing goal.

70′ – CAUTION: Chama (Zambia) is booked.

66′ – Cameroon sub: Olinga IN, N’Jie OUT.

65′ – Zambia deservedly restored their lead after pressing the Cameroon defence.

64′ – GOAL! Mwila! Zambia 2-1 Cameroon. Mwila scores following a good move by the hosts.

Cameroon sub: Pangop IN, Boumale OUT.

46′ – Cameroon sub: Castelletto IN, Leuko OUT

60′ – Zambia defender Chama’s long range effort is easily saved by Cameroon keeper Ondoa.

55′ – Zambia are dominating possession as they look to restore their lead.

50′ – GOOD SAVE! Cameroon keeper Ondoa makes a good save to deny Zambia midfielder Malama, who had unleashed a long range shot.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME: Zambia 1-1 Cameroon.

40′ – CAUTION: Leuko (Cameroon).

35′ – BRILLIANT SAVE! Zambia striker Mwila forces Cameroon keeper Ondoa into a brilliant diving save from close range.

31′ – GOAL! Zambo! Zambia 1-1 Cameroon. Zambo scores with a powerful long range shot.

30′ – It is 1-0 to Zambia as we reach the half-hour mark here in Ndola.

GOAL! Daka! Zambia 1-0 Cameroon. Daka beats Ondoa with a powerful shot following a good move.

25′ – N’Jie bursts into the Zambia box and the Cameroon forward forces keeper Mweene into a low save.

20′ – Mulenga has a chance to shoot from inside the Cameroon box, but he decides to dribble and the Zambian loses possession.

15′ – Sakala beats his marker, but the Zambia forward places his cross over the crossbar as the hosts press Cameroon.

10′ – Chama finds some space outside the Cameroon box and the Zambia defender forces goalkeeper Ondoa into a good save.

5′ – Cameroon try to launch a quick counter attack, but Ngamaleu is fouled by Zambia defender Malama.

1′ – The match is underway.

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Yaya saves Cameroon’s blushes in Zambia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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Yaya saves Cameroon's blushes in Zambia

Brian Mwila of Zambia Celebration after completing his brace against Algeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Zambia vs Algeria on September,2nd 2017 at National Heroes stadium,Lusaka in Zambia
©Sid Kalungar/Backpagepix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Nov 11, 2017. 16:48


Zambia were held to a 2-2 draw by Cameroon in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group B match at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

As a result, Chipolopolo secure a spot finish in Group B, while the Indomitable Lions finish third with the two former African champions having failed to qualify for the World Cup.

The hosts dominated the match in the early stages and Augustine Chama forced Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa into a decent save.

However, the 21-year-old shot-stopper was beaten in the 25th minute when Patson Daka scored with his left foot to make it 1-0 to Zambia.

However, Zambia’s lead only lasted for six minutes as André-Frank Zambo Anguissa scored with a long range shot to make it 1-1 for Cameroon.

Chipolopolo then applied some pressure on the Indomitable Lions defence with the half-time break fast approaching.

Ondoa denied Brian Mwila with a good diving save in the 35th minute, before pulling off a comfortable save to deny Enock Mwepu seven minutes later.

The Indomitable Lions shot-stopper’s saves ensured that the first-half ended with Zambia and Cameroon locked at 1-1.

The second-half was dominated by Chipolopolo and they managed to regain their lead just after the hour-mark.

Brian Mwila, who is on the books of South African side Platinum Stars, beat Ondoa with a good finish to make it 2-1 to Zambia.

It was nearly 3-1 to the hosts in the 72nd minute, but this time Mwepu’s header hit the woodwork with Ondoa rooted to the ground.

Zambia were left to rue that missed chance as Banana Yaya scored with a header in stoppage time and the two sides drew 2-2 on the day.

Zambia (1) 2 (Daka 25′, Mwila 64′)

Cameroon (1) 2 (Zambo 31′, Yaya 90’+1)

Zambia XI: Mweene, Malama, Kapumbu, Tembo, Sunzu, Chama, Mulenga, Mwepu (Banda 85′), Mwila (Ngonga 76′), Daka, Sakala (Mbewe 88′).

Cameroon XI: Ondoa, Nouhou, Ngadeu, Yaya, Leuko (Castelletto 46′), Zambo, Siani, Boumal (Pangop 46′), Njie (Olinga 66′), Aboubakar, Ngamaleu.

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Munamba Numba names the provisional U20 Zambia squad for COSAFA

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by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 19:36



Zambian U20 coach Mumamba Numba has named a 45 provisional member-squad that will compete at the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup in Kitwe next month.

Numba has named the bulk of players from the 2017 U17 Cosafa Castle Cup winning squad while others have been added from the pool that participated in the U17 Africa Cup Qualifiers in 2016.

According to FAZFootball.com, team manager Mwansa Kapyanga released the names and the team iss expected to assemble for camp on Sunday in Lusaka.

Zambia will want to defend the COSAFA crown they lifted under coach, Beston Chambeshi last year in South Africa.

GOALKEEPERS:

Danny Sikanyika (Lusaka Dynamos), Ben Mwale (Zanaco), Bradley Mweene ( LusakaYouth Academy), Prince Bwalya (Green Buffaloes), Emmanuel Mphasi Emmanuel Mphasi (Golden Celtic)

DEFENDERS:

Jack Chisha (Young Zesco), Justine Mwanza (Young Nkana), Poncilio Kapampa (Kabwe Warriors) Hillary Mwiinga (Red Arrows), Joseph Phiri (Kamwala Academy), Kasonde Mulenga (National Assembly), Chrispin Kawezya (Malalo Police), Andrew Phiri (Kafue Celtic), Jonathan Kapelembe (Romeki), Victor Kasokola (Konkola Blades), Godfrey Mwila (Kamwala Academy), Christopher Katongo (Kasama United Youth), Kingsley Hakwiya (Kansanshi High School), Dalitso Banda (Young Zanaco)

MIDFIELDERS:

Jonathan Tembo (Gomes), Dauti Silwimba (Young Zesco), Kelvin Kapumbu (Lumwana Radiants), Godfrey Chanda (Green Buffaloes), Ngosa Sunzu (Napsa Stars), Kunda Nkandu (Zanaco), Musonda Kalale (Chambeshi FC), Mukuka Chanda (Gomes), Harry Milanzi (Young Green Buffaloes), Benson Kolala (Nchanga Rangers), Jimmy Hamanzuka (National Assembly), Niza Simutenda (Mphande Youth Academy), John Mulalangabo, Michael Kafusha (Kasama United Youth), Muma Mumba (Zamcoal Diggers), Prince Mumba (Kabwe Warriors), Clinton Lubula (Kabwata Dynamos), Alex Bulaya (Nakambala Leopards)

STRIKERS:

Lameck Banda (Nkwazi), Gamphani Lungu (National Assembly), Martin Njobvu (Nchanga Rangers), Christopher Phiri (Kafue Celtic), George Nyimbili (Young Zanaco), Damiano Kola (Zanaco), Francisco Mwepu (Chambeshi FC), Paul Mwachisemu (Kafue Celtics)

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Kenya, Zambia friendly has been called off – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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Kenya, Zambia friendly has been called off

Brian Mwila of Zambia Celebration after completing his brace against Algeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Zambia vs Algeria on September,2nd 2017 at National Heroes stadium,Lusaka in Zambia
©Sid Kalungar/Backpagepix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 02, 2017. 18:00


Latest information regarding the friendly international between Kenya and Zambia is that it has been called off.

Media reports in the East African country reval that the match set for November 14 will not go ahead as planned.

This is after Football Kenya Federation CEO Robert Muthomi confirmed on Thursday the match had been called off due to logistical issues.

Coach Wedson Nyirenda is preparing his side to face the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in their final Group B match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on November 11.

NIGERIA TO TRAVEL TO RUSSIA VIA CHARTERED FLIGHT

“It’s unfortunate that Zambia will not honour the friendly due to what we have understood to be logistical issues around the team’s travel,” said Muthomi in a statement.

The failure to see the encounter going on has left the FKF looking for an alternative after failing to secure a friendly against Rwanda.

It was reported that the pre-arranged game against Amavubi failed to materialise because they have an African Nations Championships play-off clash against Ethiopia to honour.

The news of Zambia’s cancellation comes a day after Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi had named a provisional squad of 28-local based players for this assignment.

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FIFA tells Zambia to stop pretesting and accept loss to Nigeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 17:00


News coming out of Zambia is that FIFA has thrown out Zambia’s protest regarding the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria on October 7 in Uyo.

The Football Association of Zambia protested after they felt that referee Joshua Bondo was not fair in his handling of the match.

Nigeria clinched a 1-0 win and qualified for their third straight World Cup with a match to spare in Group B.

As a result, FAZ were aggrieved and filed a formal protest to FIFA asking them to look into the matter after their goal was disallowed by Bondo.

KGENGWENYANE: BDF XI WILL CHALLENGE FOR THE BPL TITLE

The goal in question was scored after one of the assistant referees had clearly flagged for an offside and effectively stopped play.

However, in a letter addressed to FAZ and signed by Julien Deux of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, the world football governing body dismissed the case for lacking merit.

Deux told the Zambians to accept the result and referring them to Article 15, Paragraph 6 of the World Cup regulations.

FIFA said there was “no evidence of any infringement of the regulations by the referees”.

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Zambia in hot water for fan behaviour in Uyo – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Zambia in hot water for fan behaviour in Uyo

Brian Mwila of Zambia Celebration after completing his brace against Algeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Zambia vs Algeria on September,2nd 2017 at National Heroes stadium,Lusaka in Zambia
©Sid Kalungar/Backpagepix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 09, 2017. 13:30


Zambia could be in hot water after FIFA and CAF have launched a probe following their fans behaviour against Nigeria on Saturday.

The Chipolopolo fans displayed a banner in support of current president Edgar Lungu during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo.

Coach Wedson Nyirenda’s men lost 1-0 allowing the Super Eagles to book a spot at the global football tournament in Russia.

Media reports in Nigeria indicate that FIFA does not allow political messages during games.

This means Zambia could be fined by football‘s governing body as a result at the end of the inquiry.

”However, keeping in mind that the rules need to be applied in a neutral and fair manner across FIFA’s 211 member associations, the display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited,” said chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Claudio Sulser to the Zambian Observer.

”In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else.”

Meanwhile, it is reported that the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) were not aware of the behavior of the Zambian fans in Nigeria.

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Rohr: Nigeria were lucky against Zambia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Oct 08, 2017. 14:00


Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr admitted that his side was lucky against Zambia on Saturday.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals after defeating Zambia 1-0 in Uyo.

The only goal of the match was scored by Alex Iwobi with 17 minutes left on the clock at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

“We were lucky that Iwobi came off the bench to make the difference,” Rohr said on CAFonline.com.

“It was a difficult game and we didn’t underrate Zambia,” the German tactician continued.

“We knew it will be a tough game and that was the case.”

As a result, Nigeria, who won Group B, became the first African nation to qualify for the finals which will be hosted by Russia.

The Super Eagles are set to travel to Algeria for their final Group B match which will be played on 6 November 2017.

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2018 FIFA WCQ: Nigeria 1-0 Zambia – As It Happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 20:05


Welcome to the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo for this evening’s 2018 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Zambia.

Live Commentary (press F5 to refresh)
All times CAT

 

90+3′ – Full time – Done and dusted, Nigeria win and qualify for the 2018 World Cup! It will be the sixth appearance for the Super Eagles, who are the first team from Africa to secure their place in next year’s global tournament!

90+1′ – Yellow card – Chingandu is booked for a late challenge.

90′ – There will be three minutes of added time.

87′ – Substitution – Mulenga makes way for John Chingandu in Zambia’s final change.

85′ – Moses with a chance on the ‘D’ of the box, but he snatches at his volley and sends it over the target.

84′ – Iwobi free down the right side of the penalty area, but he’s flagged offside.

80′ – Substitution – Ola Aina replaces Echiejile in Nigeria’s final change.

78′ – Substitution – Justin Shonga replaces Sakala in Zambia’s attack.

76′ – Iwobi crosses from the right but his ball is just too strong for Ighalo at the far post! The Arsenal man has added a new dimension to his team’s attack.

73′ – GOAL! Nigeria 1-0 Zambia – Finally the deadlock is broken! Shehu provides a cut-back from the right and Iwobi shoots first time to beat Mweene with a low shot! Great finish and that goal could send Nigeria to Russia 2018!

71′ – A great counter attack for Nigeria, but Ighalo opts to try and cut back rather than shoot first time and the move breaks down!

68′ – Midway through the second half, still 0-0. So far so good for Zambia, but they need to win this match if they are to have any realistic hope of qualifying ahead of Nigeria.

66′ – Substitution – Here’s the answer, as Iwobi replaces Simon in the forward line.

65′ – How long before Nigeria look to boost their attack? They have the likes of Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho on the bench…

63′ – Yellow card – Abdullahi is booked for a nasty challenge on Mwepu.

60′ – Up to the hour mark, just 30 minutes left for one of these teams to take this game by the scruff of the neck.

57′ – Ndidi with a looping header on target but Mweene makes a superb save to keep the game goalless!

56′ – Yellow card – Mtonga is booked for a cynical foul on Mikel.

55′ – A sniff of goal for Zambia but Ngonga can’t bring the ball under control. Nigeria living dangerously at the back…

51′ – Substitution – Ernest Mbewe replaces Lungu in Zambia’s first change of the match.

50′ – Ndidi gets onto the end of a free kick driven into the box, but his header is high and wide.

47′ – Moses floats a long diagonal into the box and Balogun heads on target, but it’s an easy save for Mweene.

46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

45+2′ – Half time – Goalless at the break, but it’s certainly not been short of entertainment. Nigeria know they can take this game if they just tighten up their play, while Zambia still have genuine hope of an upset.

45+1′ – There will be two minutes of added time.

45′ – Ighalo with a great chance to dig out a cross from the right by-line and Simon tries an acrobatic volley which is also way high and wide. Had the crowd excited, though…

43′ – Ighalo with a half-chance under pressure from Tembo, but he volleys off target.

40′ – Five minutes to half time. Nigeria have been the better team overall, but Zambia have had perhaps the best chances.

38′ – Mikel volleys a dropping ball on the edge of the box, but his effort is high and wide.

36′ – Ngonga with a long range effort which bounces awkwardly in front of Ezenwa and then strikes the outside of the post! The closest we’ve come to a goal at either end!

35′ – Yellow card – Agu is booked for a hand in Mwepu’s face in midfield. He’ll need to tread carefully now…

31′ – Moses cuts inside from the right and shoots left-footed, but Mweene makes a comfortable save. Now it’s a chance for Ngonga, who outmuscles Balogun and stabs a shot over with only Ezenwa to beat!

30′ – Substitution – Here comes the change for Nigeria, with Agu replacing the injured Onazi.

29′ – Zambia have grown in this game and are now posing a genuine threat to the hosts.

27′ – Nigeria have got Ndubisi Agu ready to replace Onazi, but the midfielder limps on for now. Looks like he’ll try to run the injury off.

24′ – A blow here for Nigeria, with Onazi receiving treatment and the medical team has called for a substitution.

23′ – Midway through the first half, still goalless in Uyo. Zambia have the ball in the back of the net through Mulenga, but he’s flagged offside.

20′ – Another corner for Nigeria, again it’s well defended by Zambia.

17′ – Simon plays a great cross from the right flank but it’s just too strong for Ighalo, who threw himself at the ball but couldn’t quite reach it!

14′ – Nigeria’s defence gives the ball away and Zambia are presented with a great chance – however, Sakala opts for a shot from a tight angle which only travels out for a goal kick. Lucky break for the hosts…

13′ – Ngonga with a cracking turn, run and cross from the right flank, but his ball is just too strong for Sakala through the middle.

12′ – Good defending from Echiejile as he holds off Ngonga in attack for Zambia.

9′ – Good passing from the Super Eagles, though Zambia are looking well organised in defence.

6′ – Simon with a storming run forward to win a corner kick. The set piece sees Moses look for the far post, but Mweene makes a solid catch.

4′ – Zambia with a couple of quick corners, but neither is a bother for Nigeria thanks to some sub-par delivery from Kapumbu.

2′ – Moses blown up for an early hand-ball near the centre circle. Nigeria starting with plenty of energy and intent.

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Uyo! Nigeria wear their famous all-green, while Zambia are kitted out in orange and black.

17h50 – Ten minutes to kick-off. Our referee today is Joshua Bondo from Botswana. He will be assisted by Oamogetse Godisamang and Souro Phatsoane, with Tirelo Mositwane as the fourth official.

17h40 – A reminder of the stakes for this match, where the equation is very simple for Nigeria: win and they will be the first African team to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. A draw would also be a good result, but wouldn’t mathematically guarantee their spot at the finals.

Should Zambia win, it would bring them level on points with Nigeria ahead of the final round of matches in November.

17h30 – Half an hour to kick-off, here are the line-ups for the match:

Nigeria: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Shehu Abdullahi, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Elderson Echiejile, Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Moses Simon

Zambia: Kennedy Mweene, Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu, Ziyo Tembo, Stophila Sunzu, Kondwani Mtonga, Enock Mwepu, Chisamba Lungu, Augustin Mulenga, Fashion Sakala, Alex N’gonga

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Pinnick cautions Nigeria ahead of Zambia clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Pinnick cautions Nigeria ahead of Zambia clash

Embattled NFF president Amaju Pinnick

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 16:00


Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has asked the Super Eagles to be clinical against Zambia on Saturday.

The two African sides will clash in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group B match at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria.

A victory for Nigeria will see the Super Eagles ease into next year’s World Cup finals which are scheduled to be hosted by Russia, as Group B winners.

When speaking to the NFF’s official website, Pinnick urged the Super Eagles to be calm

when they take on Zambia’s Chipolopolo.

“The tendency is for teams to get uptight and tensed for this kind of match,” Pinnick said.

“I have spoken to them and the approach should be to take full control from the beginning and take the chances that come without being too anxious.

“We defeated the African champions, Cameroon, by maintaining focus and with the team imposing its game and taking the chances that came their way,” he added.

“That should be the approach for Saturday.”

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Kalusha Bwalya is admant Zambia can beat Nigeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 15:30



Zambian football legend Kalusha Bwalya reckons the current generation of Chipolopolo has the capacity to upset the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

The former Football Association of Zambia president says he respects the West Africans, but Wedson Nyirenda’s men can come back with a win.

Zambia are on the road this weekend to Nigeria hoping to register a victory as they meet for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo.

PAULO DUARTE SURPRISINGLY RECALLS ERRATIC MALO FOR BAFANA CLASH

Bwalya says he feel that Zambia has done exceptionally well especially in the last two games against Algeria and this game will be a high pressure.

“This Saturday game will be a high pressure match and i feel playing at home Nigeria will be more under pressure which can work to Zambia’s advantage,” said Bwalya to Lusaka Times.

“I have always had great respect for the Super Eagles and it’s array of world class players but, if there is a team that can beat Nigeria in Nigeria it’s Chipolopolo.

“This is a last throw of the dice. It is a must win match. The team has done exceptionally well.

“The result against Algeria was a big psychological win and Zambia always rises to the occasion,when needed most.

“Notwithstanding, it is important to acknowledge the value of the Nigeria encounter and that it is the most important game Zambia will play in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.”

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Zambia looking to upset the odds – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Zambia looking to upset the odds

Rainford Kalaba (L) of Zambia and Mikel Obi of Nigeria during a World Cup qualifier recently

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 04, 2017. 09:00


Zambia will look to deal Nigeria’s 2018 World Cup hopes a major blow when the teams meet in a Group B qualifier at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Saturday, 18h00 CAT.

The equation is very simple for Nigeria: they come into the game with a three-point lead over Zambia at the top of the standings and know that a win will mathematically secure their place at the global showpiece in Russia next year.

A draw will leave them three points clear with one match to play and a much better goal difference, but wouldn’t quite button down their World Cup spot just yet.

As for Zambia, a win is their only realistic chance of reviving their World Cup hopes. If the Southern Africans can get the better of the Super Eagles in Uyo, it would leave the teams level on points heading into the final round of matches in November.

It all seems set up for a glorious home win for Nigeria, who would love nothing more than to seal a sixth World Cup appearance in front of their fans, having already outplayed Algeria and Cameroon at the same venue.

Yet German coach Gernot Rohr has admitted that Zambia will pose a stern threat and has warned his team not to underestimate Chipolopolo.

“I can’t predict the score line against Zambia because it would not be an easy match,” Rohr told CAF’s official website

“Zambia can be dangerous because they also have a good team. I don’t think it would be a 4-0 win for us but the most important thing for us is to win even if it’s by one or two goal difference.

“I have seen a lot of videos of the Zambian team and I must confess they are a very good side, much better than the team we played last October, but we are not afraid.

“We only have to give them respect but we won’t make the mistake Algeria made by underrating Zambia; they have quick strikers but we shall be ready for them.”

Following their impressive back-to-back wins over Algeria in the previous international window, Zambia head to Nigeria with a quiet confidence that they can upset the West African giants – especially if they are mentally strong.

“This game will be highly psychological, therefore we are working on their mental strength before the match,” coach Wedson Nyirenda told the FAZ website.

“Every player and everyone on our bench know and believe that this time is our time. God can only show you the fish and it is up to you to fish it out.

“Looking at the way we worked against Algeria home and away it tells a lot of stories. The boys now know and believe it can be done.

“Nigeria is a different team we are not going to be big headed because we beat Algeria we are focused on looking at Nigeria only.”

The teams have met 18 times according to FIFA’s statistics database, with Nigeria claiming seven wins compared to five for Chipolopolo. Their last meeting was in October last year in Ndola, where the Super Eagles claimed a 2-1 away victory.

The other Group B match between already eliminated sides Cameroon and Algeria will be played simultaneously at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde.

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Rohr: A draw against Zambia will be okay for Nigeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Rohr: A draw against Zambia will be okay for Nigeria

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Oct 03, 2017. 12:00


Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr says a win or draw against Zambia will be okay for the Super Eagles on Saturday.

The Super Eagles are set to host Zambia’s Chipolopolo in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group B match.

The match will take place at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in the Nigerian city of Uyo.

The Super Eagles will qualify for the finals as Group B winners if they beat Chipolopolo this weekend.

Rohr spoke exclusively to All Nigeria Soccer (ANS) shortly after his arrival in Uyo.

ANS: How do you assess your team right now?

Rohr: We will try to prepare well, we will have two training sessions everyday, then we will assess the video of our past match and also the video of our opponent. The Zambians are a different team from the one we played in October last year.

They are a younger team, they are much quicker and better than when we last played them. And you know of course not all the players have arrived.

ANS: What is the target for the match on Saturday?

Rohr: The target always is to win but if we don’t win we draw. We must not lose the game. It is a different Zambian team from the Cameroonian team. It is an even more difficult game.

They have analyzed us just as we have analyzed them, so they know us better, hence it is going to be a tough game.

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Nigeria will beat Zambia to qualify, says confident Mikel – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Nigeria will beat Zambia to qualify, says confident Mikel

Nigeria skipper Mikel vs Tanzania

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 13:00


Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel is confident that the Super Eagles will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals next month.

The Super Eagles are scheduled to host Zambia’s Chipolopolo in the World Cup qualification Group B match in Uyo, Nigeria on Satuday, October 7.

A victory for current Group B leaders Nigeria will see them win the group and qualify for the finals which will be hosted by Russia next year.

Mikel, who currently plies his trade in China for Tianjin TEDA, praised second-placed Chipolopolo, but he believes that the Super Eagles deserve to qualify.

The former Chelsea FC central midfielder was speaking to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) official website.

“I must admit that I applaud the resurgence of the Zambians this late in the qualifiers. Beating Algeria home and away is no mean feat,” he said.

“We will take them very serious on 7th October because they clearly have a new spirit. It is time we wrap this up,” he continued.

“We have all shown professionalism, dedication and determination to be at the pole position in a group tagged ‘Group of Death’.

“Commendations must go to the entire team and the Coach, but we must finish it up in Uyo and secure our ticket right there.”

The match will be played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

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Orlando Pirates sign Zambia starlet Justin Shonga – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

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Orlando Pirates sign Zambia starlet Justin Shonga

Justin Shonga of Zambia ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 27, 2017. 15:00


Orlando Pirates have announced the signing of Zambian youth international striker Justin Shonga from Nkwazi United.

He will join his new teammates on Wednesday.

Although he was linked with a move to Mamelodi Sundowns, the Buccaneers have seemingly beaten the Brazilians on landing the Junior Chipolopolo’s signature.

Pirates have also announced that Shonga will don the number 27 jersey under coach Milutin Sredojevic as he starts his journey in the South African Premiership.

“I am happy to be here. This is the right move for my career and my ambitions. I would like to emulate other Zambian players who have done well at the Club such as Perry Mutapa and Isaac Chansa,” said Shonga on the club’s website.

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Zambia may camp in Europe for Nigeria clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Sep 12, 2017. 10:30


Football Association of Zambia’s president Andrew Kamanga says they might set up a training camp in Europe as they prepare for their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Nigeria.

PIRATES LOOK TO BUILD ON SOLID START

The FAZ boss said 2017 had so far been an exciting year on the soccer calendar with national teams across the stream delivering results.

“We have only got four weeks before the Nigeria game, so we are looking at options in terms of where we can camp the team and get the best value,” said Kamanga.

“As you know some of the players are already in Europe, they did not come with us they have gone back.

“We may see it fit to camp the team in Europe so that it is easier to prepare the team adequately and it is actually shorter to go into Europe from Nigeria.

“We are putting in every effort to make sure that this team is adequately prepared as we face Nigeria, which for me is the do or die game whoever wins that game will be assured of going to Russia 2018.

“But most interestingly in this group, we are the only ones who have never been to the World Cup, but with the favour we continue to draw on we should be able to qualify, come November because we have the advantage of playing Cameroun in the final round.”

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Nigeria FA: There will be no room for error against Zambia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Nigeria FA: There will be no room for error against Zambia

Mikel speaks to Nigerian vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (second left) on behalf of Super Eagles

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 08, 2017. 16:00


The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) will inspect the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium ahead of the next 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

This was confirmed by NFF president Amaju Pinnick, who was speaking to the federation’s official website following Nigeria’s return leg clash with Cameroon.

The Super Eagles collected four points from their recent back to back clashes with the Indomitable Lions and they remained at the top of Group B standings with 10 points.

“Even before the conclusion of this second match against Cameroon in Yaounde, we had started the arrangements for the match against Zambia,” Pinnick said.

“The Chairman of Organizing Committee (NFF 1st VP, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi) will travel to Uyo this week to see Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and they will go through the check –list together.

“Nothing will be left to chance. It is a very big match, and the way things have turned out against Cameroon, it is now an even bigger match than the ones we played against Cameroon. There must be no room for error.”

Nigeria, who defeated Cameroon 4-0 in Uyo, before the two sides drew 1-1 in Yauonde, will host Zambia on 7 October 2017.

The Super Eagles will qualify for the World Cup finals as Group B winners if they defeat Chipolopolo in Uyo.

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Ex-FAZ executive committee member says Zambia must terminate Mafro kit deal – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Ex-FAZ executive committee member says Zambia must terminate Mafro kit deal

Justin Shonga of Zambia ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 06, 2017. 13:30


Football Association of Zambia has been urged to terminate their deal with kit manufacturer, Mafro as the kit supplier has failed to deliver.

Media reports in Zambia indicate that ex-FAZ executive committee member, Happie Munkondya says the Singaporean company, Mafro must be dropped.

In May this year, FAZ signed a two-year kit sponsorship deal with Mafro worth US $200,000, but Munkondya wants the association to cut their ties.

STUART BAXTER RUBBISHES CLAIMS OF SUPERSPORT BIAS

Munkondya told the Daily Mail website that the FAZ executive committee should consider reviewing the Mafro deal because the kit supplier is allegedly failing to perform to expectation.

He said the late delivery of replicas is one area in which Mafro have failed and that kits are not accessible to the supporters.

FAZ communications manager Desmond Katongo has refused to comment and referred queries to general secretary Ponga Liwewe.

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Algeria crash and burn at the hands of Zambia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Staff Reporter

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 23:42


Algeria have crashed and burned at the hands of Zambia who beat them 1-0 in a Group B, 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Stade Mohamed-Hamlaoui in Constantine on Tuesday night.

The loss leaves Algeria rooted at the bottom of their World Cup qualifying group with one point to their name and unable to qualify for Russia.

The same can also be said for Cameroon who are third in Group B with three points following their 1-1 draw with Nigeria, on Monday.

The win for Zambia sees them keep up their pressure on Nigeria in Group B – the Southern African side has seven points, three behind leaders Nigeria.

Algeria controlled the flow of the game early on and should have taken the lead in the 16th minute, but Riyad Mahrez failed to score from a penalty sport.

Algeria suffered a further set-back in the 24th minute when goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Abdelkadir Salhi.

The disruption in the Algerian team allowed the hard fighting Zambians a chance to claw their way back into a match.

Zambia began seeing more of the ball and pressed forward in their aggressive attacking nature, but they could not find any goals before the half time break.

The visiting Southern Africans came out the tunnel a much better looking side and seemed ready to cause an upset in Constantine.

Algeria’s Youcef Attal looked to be struggling in the middle of the park and he was quickly replaced by Adam Ounas in the 54th minute.

Zambia responded directly to counter that substitution when Justin Shonga was replaced by Alex Ngonga on the hour mark.

After six minutes of being on the field, Zambian substitute Alex Ngonga turned provider as he played Patson Daka through on goal and he duly found the back of the net with a clinical finish, 1-0.

Algeria tried to rescue the match, but were unable to do so.

Algeria (0) 0

Zambia (0) 1 (Daka 67’)

Teams

Algeria: M’Bolhi (Salhi 24’), Ghoulam, Bensebaini, Benguit, Mandi, Brahimi (Slimani 74), Taider, Attal (Ounas 50’), Mahrez, Bentaleb, Soudani.

Zambia: Mweene, Kampumbu, Sunzu, Tembo, Silwimba, Mulenga, Mwepu, Mtonga, Mbewe, Shonga (Ngonga 60’), Daka (Malama 90’).

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Algeria welcome high flying Zambia in Constantine – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Algeria welcome high flying Zambia in Constantine

Ghezzal Rachid fights for the ball against Zambia defender Ziyo Tembo

by
Staff Reporter

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 13:30


The Desert Warriors of Algeria will be looking to bounce back when they host Zambia on Tuesday in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

The North Africans are still licking their wounds after a shocking 3-1 defeat at the hands of Chipolopolo on Saturday in Lusaka.

For this encounter, they will want to keep their hopes alive by ensuring they retain the full three points at home come Tuesday.

Coach Lucas Alcaraz’s troops remain rooted at the bottom of Group B with one point from two losses and a draw thus far.

Looking at the Southern Africans, Zambia now occupy the second spot in the group with four points from one win, one loss and one draw.

The win at home has motivated coach Wedson Nyirenda’s men as they will want to book their maiden spot at the global tournament in Russia.

One of the goalscorers, Enock Mwepu said they must be ready for a tough match as the hosts will not be easy to beat at home.

“It was my target to score on my debut and I am very happy to come in as a substitute to score. I believe we need to continue working hard so that we beat Algeria in the return match in their backyard,” said Mwepu.

Although it will not be easy to bag a win in Constantine, the Zambians’ fighting spirit is what the Algerians must ensure they neutralise come Tuesday.

This thrilling encounter will be staged Stade Mohamed-Hamlaoui in Constantine and kick-off is at 21:00 (CAT).

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WCQ Africa: Zambia 3-1 Algeria – As It Happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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WCQ Africa: Zambia 3-1 Algeria - As It Happened

Nabil Bentaleb of Algeria during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Tunisia on the 19 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Sep 02, 2017. 16:55


Zambia will be hoping to claim their first win in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign as they host Algeria at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

On the other hand, the Desert Warriors are also chasing their maiden win to move up the log table and will be fighting on all fronts for a victory.

Line-ups:

Zambia: Mweene, Silwamba, Sunzu, Tembo, Kapumbu, Mulenga, Mtonga, Lungu, Sakala, Mwila, Daka

Algeria: M’Bolhi, Mandi, Bansebaini, Hassani, Ghoulam, Soudani, Taider, Bentaleb, Brahimi, Slimani, Hanni

Commentary:

90+5′ – It is full time in Lusaka. Zambia 3-1 Algeria. Now they will hope to bag another win in Algiers come Tuesday fore the second leg.

90+5′ – Daka booked

90+5′ – Zambia playing to preserve their lead at home, the crowds singing and Mweene collects a loose ball into the box.

90′ Zambia bag their third goal through Mwepu. A powerful low shot beats M’Bolhi on his far post making it 3-1 for Nyirenda’s men.

85′ – Mweene beaten on his far posts by a powerful shot by substitute, Idriss Saadi’s well executed shot, but it sails wide inches off the far post.

81′ – Sub for Algeria, Saadi for Bansebaini

81′ – We are in the final 10 minutes of the contest.Sub for Zambia: Mulenga on for N’Gonga

79′ – Mweene becoming the busiest of the two goalkeepers as he tries to curb all Algerian attacks. Mweene collects a set piece from Algerian attack.

75′ – A foul against Mulenga on the corner flag for pushing his opponent. Zambia still leading 2-1.

70′ A booking for the Algerian keeper, M’Bolhi for protesting.

69′ – Booking for Bansebaini.

69′ – Sub for Zambia: Kabwe replaces the goalscorer, Mwila.

68′ – Zambia chasing their third goal and Nyirenda becomes animated on the touchline. A corner for the hosts.

63′ – Mwepu beats the Algerian through his pace, but a final delivery to Mwila sees the striker’s effort going wide.

58′ – Sub for Algeria: Ghezzal on for Soudani

57′ – Sub for Zambia: Mwepu on for Lungu

56′ – Sakala booked for the second time., Zambia down to 10 men.

55′ – Brahimi makes it 2-1, Yacine Brahimi pulls a powerful shot right on the d-line to beat Mweene on his right post. Zambia 2-1 Algeria

51′ – Yattal booked for simulation. Zambia still lead Algeria by 2-0.

50′ – Algerians chasing their first goal in the match and Soudani fails to read the bounce of the ball, he misses with only Mweene to beat.

46′ Youcef Yattal comes on for Illias Hassan.

46′ – Second half gets underway in Lusaka, with the hosts leading 2-0.

45′ – It is half time in Lusaka. Zambia 2-0 Algeria.

45+2′ – A great cross in search of Algerian forwards, but it is too much for Slimani.

42′ – Sakala booked for a silly foul on Algerian midfielder.

40′ – Mulenga does well on the left flank to toy around with an Algerian defender, but his rushed effort sails wide over the cross bar. Zambia 2-0 Algeria

37′ – Hassani booked for a foul on Daka. Free kick for the hosts.

35′ Mwila makes it two for the Zambians. A wonderful run on the left flank by Mulenga as he beat the Algerian defence before passing the ball for the Platinum Stars striker. 2-0 against Algeria.

30′ – Sunzu and Mweene fail to communicate at the back, but the ball goes sway from danger. Zambia 1-0 Algeria.

25′ – The North Africans pushing for an equaliser and to trouble the disjointed defence. Mweene collects a cross from the right flank.

20′ – Zambia not convincing at the back, a handball protested for by Slimani, but referee not interested. Zambia still lead 1-0.

15′ – Faouzi Ghoulam attempts a header from a corner, but the defender’s effort sails wide off the cross bar.

13′ – Zambia lead the Desert Warriors in the opening 10 minutes. Mulenga tries a long range effort, but narrowly misses the target.

07′ – Mwila scores for the hosts, Mwila receives a telling cross on the right flank through Mulenga and the forward cannot be denied fore the second time. Zambia 1-0 Algeria.

03′ – The hosts get a corner as they put the Algerians under pressure. Goal kick for M’Bolhi.

01′ – We are underway in Lusaka between Chipolopolo and the Desert Warriors.

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Mweene: I can lead Zambia to the 2018 World Cup finals – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 12:30


Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene is looking forward to facing Algeria in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Group B qualifiers.

Chipolopolo will welcome the Desert Foxes at the National Heroes Stadium on Saturday – having recorded a defeat and a draw in their first two group games.

CAFOnline.com caught up with the veteran goalkeeper to talk about the new-look Chipolopolo teamwhich is under the guidance of coach Wedson Nyirenda.

Cafonline.com: Zambia heads into the match-day-three tied on one point with Algeria. What is your perspective of the game?

Kennedy Mweene: Looking at the way we have been training with such a positive energy plus competition where everyone wants to make the starting eleven, I believe we can get a positive result.

Cafonline.com: This team has a blend of experience and seven players from the U-20 team that won the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Zambia 2017 and reached the quarters of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea, how is the atmosphere in camp after few days of training?

It has been very good and the combination of players is what we need in our team in terms of adding youthful pace. We have the energy side from the U-20’s and the experience of the senior players. We will guide the juniors through properly otherwise it is a very good combination.

Cafonline.com: Zambia has never beaten Algeria in a FIFA World Cup qualifier and has only won two games from 12 meetings. Is there any pressure going into the game with such a modest record?

I have been in the national team for a long time, and I don’t feel any pressure. My job will be to lead and support whoever the coach picks to play. Pressure will always be there especially when you are playing at home. So the onus lies on the senior players like me to calm the situation. We have new young players and playing for the junior and senior teams are two different things all together. We will calm them down and ensure they enjoy the game the same way they did at the U-20 level. If the can only enjoy the game, they will deliver.

Cafonline.com: Do you think Zambia can finally break the jinx against Algeria in World Cup qualifiers this weekend?

I think they have always given us problems beating them. If you look at the Mozambique game that we lost in June in the Total Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2019 qualifiers, it was a similar situation (having never won against Zambia), but they beat us. So anything is possible is football.

Cafonline.com: Nigeria face Cameroon in the other Group B match on Friday. Do you think a win for either side will put pressure on Zambia, which squares Algeria 24-hours later?

At the end of the day, we just have to focus on our game and not look at whoever wins on Friday. These two back-to-back games against Algeria are very important to our qualification hopes. If we get positive results at home and away against Algeria, I think the gap won’t be that much. Remember we still have games to play against Nigeria away and Cameroon at home after the Algeria double-header, so anything can happen.

However, we respect our critics, and their criticisms make us stronger. We want to prove them wrong that we are not just here to make up the numbers but to compete.

Cafonline.com: At 32, how eager are you to play at the FIFA World Cup after two unsuccessful attempts?

When I played my first and the second FIFA World Cup qualifiers, I was very young and inexperienced. I am now older and wiser. I have gained a lot of experience and I think differently. I play differently now too and there’s a lot of maturity. I believe I have grown and I have the attributes to lead this team to qualification.

Cafonline.com: How much has the one-all draw against Cameroon last November fueled Zambia’s motivation for the Algeria clash?

That draw brought a lot of motivation because most people predicted victory for Cameroon.

But we surprised a lot of people. We could have won but for the penalty we conceded. We have learnt from that and go into the Algeria game with lots of experience. Also, players from domestic duo, Zanaco and Zesco, have gathered enough experience competing in the continental club championship.

Cafonline.com: Zambia coach Wedson Nyirenda will clock his first anniversary on the job after the Algeria double header. How important it is for the team to give him that special one year ‘birthday present’?

I think first he got his first present when Zambia qualified for the final tournament of the Total African Nations Championship Kenya 2018. Also, an unbeaten run in the back-to-back games against Algeria will just be the cherry on his cake.

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Zambia and Algeria chase first World Cup qualifier win in Lusaka – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 12:00


Zambia will want to bag their first win in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers when they host Algeria on Saturday.

Chipolopolo are desperate for a win as they want to make their maiden appearance at the global football tournament in Russia.

However, coach Wedson Nyirenda’s men are placed at number three in Group B with one point after a draw against Cameroon and a loss to Nigeria.

A win for the Southern Africans will elevate them to number two with five points, depending on the outcome of the match between Nigeria and Cameroon on Friday.

“Algeria are a strong side and we will have to approach them with a lot of caution but we do not fear them, we just respect them,” Nyirenda said.

“It is not going to be an easy engagement for us. We have totally a new team, a mixture of young boys and seniors. We hope to blend them.

“I can see great sparks from the boys U20, this is a group which has nothing to lose but everything to give.”

On the other hand, the visiting North Africans are also out to claim their first win to move up the log table.

Algeria sit at the bottom of the table with one point from one loss against the Super Eagles and a stalemate against the Indomitable Lions.

The National Heroes Stadium is the venue for the crucial encounter on Saturday with kick-off set for 15:00 (CAT).

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We can win both home and away against Zambia – Algeria coach – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Aug 31, 2017. 11:00


Algeria have the ability to defeat Zambia both home and away in their upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers, according to coach Lucas Alcaraz.

The teams will meet in back-to-back Group B encounters in Lusaka and Constantine on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.

The North Africans, who have appeared at the last two World Cup tournaments in 2010 and 2014, find themselves at the bottom of the log, five points off the pace set by leaders Nigeria.

They’ll need to pull off something special against Chipolopolo to give themselves a chance of reaching Russia 2018, but Spanish coach Alcaraz reckons they have a great chance.

“I think we have the means to win in Lusaka and Constantine three days later, but we will have to prove it on the field,” the Algeria coach said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“The group is aware of the task ahead. We are currently preparing with desire to go global and try to preserve our chances to win these two crucial games against Zambia.”

He added, “We are approaching these two games with five points less than the leader of the group, and it is a decisive turning point, we must not make any calculations, but victory is imperative.”

The Fennec Foxes boss admits that managing the workload of training, travel and playing two games just three days apart is tough, but he is prepared for the difficulties which lie ahead.

“To play two intense games in three days is difficult, we cannot do anything about this situation, we have to adapt,” explained Alcaraz.

“I have to allow players to recover and use as many players as possible in these two meetings so as not to make them fatigued.”

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Algerian coach Lucas Alcaraz talks down Zambia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Aug 30, 2017. 11:00


Algeria national team coach, Lucas Alcaraz says he wants to get two wins over Zambia in their back-to-back 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

The Desert Warriors are on the road to Lusaka for the first leg this weekend, and the Spanish manager says his troops know what to do.

Speaking to FIFA.com, the coach said Algeria might not be favourites in the group, but can revive their fortunes if they collect full points against Wedson Nyirenda’s Chipolopolo.

“We are going to prepare in depth for the two matches against Zambia. The FIFA calendar dictates that our future hinges on those two games played in a space of just five days,” said Alcaraz.

MANE JOINS STURRIDGE AND FOWLER IN RECORD BOOKS

“The players and the staff know what they have to do, what is expected of them and the importance of these two matches.

“I need a lot of players for those two games and I am absolutely convinced that if we beat Zambia, then we will qualify for the World Cup.

“Obviously, we are not the favourites. But we have to do everything in our power to get as many points and wins as we can.

“We have to fight hard in every game to make sure there are no regrets at the end of it all.”

The encounter will be staged at the National Heroes Stadium on Saturday at 15:00 (CAT).

AfricanFootball.com will bring you a LIVE Play-By-Play of the match.

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Zambia out to dispatch South Africa in final CHAN qualifier – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers

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Zambia out to dispatch South Africa in final CHAN qualifier

Lemogang Maswena of Botswana challenged by Siyabonga Nhlapho of South Africa during 2018 Chan Qualifiers game between South Africa and Botswana at Moruleng Stadium on 22 July 2017 ©Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Aug 17, 2017. 16:30


Zambia will want to wrap up the second leg of their 2018 CAF African Nations Championship qualifier when they host South Africa on Saturday.

Chipolopolo are in high spirits after their hard fought 2-2 draw against Bafana Bafana last week in East London.

A win or a goalless draw or a 1-1 draw for coach Wedson Nyirenda’s charges will book them a spot in Kenya for the tournament next year.

The hosts are favourites to claim a win and Nyirenda is expected to push his men to book a spot at the tournament to make their second appearance at CHAN.

Nyirenda will pin his hopes on the likes of Martin Phiri and Justin Shonga to score once again as they did in the opening leg.

Coming to the visitors, the depleted Bafana will find the going tough in Ndola on match day as more players have left the national team camp.

Coach Stuart Baxter will not lead the side as he will allow assistants Thabo Senong and Quinton Fortune to take charge of the tie.

Although they failed to reach the knockout stages of the tournament in 2014, Bafana hosted the showpiece in Cape Town and will now want to make it to Kenya.

Despite netting through Gift Motupa and captain Mario Booysen in the first leg, their failure to clear their lines at home means they are under pressure to score.

This crucial encounter is set to be staged at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, kick-off is at 15:00 (CAT).

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Thabo Senong to take charge of South Africa in Zambia – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Aug 17, 2017. 14:00


The South African Football Association (SAFA) has revealed that Thabo Senong will be in charge of South Africa in the second leg of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers.

The encounter will be played on Saturday at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia. The two sides played to a 2-2 draw at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London last weekend.

South Africa assistant coach Senong will lead the team to Zambia. He could be accompanied to Zambia by Bafana Bafana legend Quinton Fortune, who is currently with the SAFA technical team.

Baxter, who hails from the United Kingdom, will remain behind to focus his attention on the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde in back to back clashes.

The first encounter takes place on Friday, 1 September in Cape Verde, with the next fixture four days later (Tuesday, 5 September) at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

“Because of the difficulties we have had, I have had little time to concentrate on the absolutely vital assignment, and that is the Cape Verde qualifiers,” Baxter told SAFA’s official website.

“And based on that and also based on the fact that this is about development, I won’t be travelling to Zambia. I am going to use that time to watch some PSL games over the weekend, and prepare for the squad announcement on Monday (21 August).

“This gives me a couple of days to clear my head, do my analysis and check on players. This is also gives Thabo the chance to take some responsibility as we are talking about development. We have decided this is the best possible way to go,” he stressed.

“Senong could be assisted by former Bafana Bafana midfielder Quinton Fortune who is in the country to hold talks with the South African Football Association (SAFA) about a possible appointment into Baxter’s technical team.

“One of the staff that will be travelling to Zambia, albeit in a temporary basis, is Quinton Fortune. He arrived this morning (Wednesday, 16 August), and will follow the training session this afternoon at the FNB Stadium and will basically attend everything that we do in camp. We are still to decide if he will go with Thabo to be a some kind of an assistant or spectator – just to see how we do things,” Baxter added.

“When the squad gets back, there will be a conversation between him and the Association to see if we have found any common ground, and also to check if there is any room for us to bring him on board on a permanent basis. What is happening now is just a matter of the two parties having a look and see of the situation.”

The winner between Bafana and Zambia’s Chipolopolo will book their place in next’s CHAN finals which are scheduled to take place in Kenya.

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Baxter: Why SA can beat Chipolopolo in Zambia – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers

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Baxter: Why SA can beat Chipolopolo in Zambia

SA coach Stuart Baxter directs his players

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 14, 2017. 18:00


South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter believes that they can beat Zambia away following their 2-2 draw at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Saturday.

Gift Motupa and Mario Booysen both netted for the home side in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier first-leg clash.

“The boys played well and made the most of what they got and I think at 2-0 up I couldn’t see a way back for Zambia because they weren’t creating chances. 2-1 came out of the blue as I thought we were dangerous on the breaks as they were on attack, it really came as a damp squib,” Baxter told SAFA.net.

“I thought, do I change things a bit, do I lock up? And then Tercious gets sent off so I can’t lock up, instead I have to go 4-4-1. And then comes the last throw in, and the last kick of match the ball ends up in the back of our net.

“I don’t think the boys threw it away, but they were just unlucky. The way they battled for their jersey was very admirable and this tie is certainly far from over. I don’t now how much more Zambia has got because they played that way against us the last time we met, and I think they will play that way again when we meet,” the Englishman added.

Bafana Bafana will now face Chipolopolo in the second-leg game in Ndola, Zambia on Saturday, 19 August 2017. The winner on aggregate will qualify for next year’s CHAN finals in Kenya.

“It’s not a great result, giving away two goals at home means they can get through on 0-0, or even 1-1. The hype before the game was that we had no chance, they are a strong side – well they certainly didn’t do that and now we are going to their place and they know that we can play them,” Baxter stressed.

“I know as a coach that it’s a difficult one for them – do they go for nil-nil or 1-1 or have a full go at us, and if they opt for the latter we can beat them on the transition then it’s 1-0 and they are shaking. So it is not easy even for them.

“What seems to them as a good result at the moment, the closer you get to the game, the more reality sinks in and they ask themselves what if they score?”

Baxter was, however, impressed with the performance of his players despite the result, although some things will have to fixed,” he explained.

“I just think our general play should have been better and we should have put one of our chances away but I think the boys did as well as anybody could expect. Gift was outstanding, he ran their backline ragged, a couple of the young ones too – Meyiwa came in when Khumalo got injured and he did a great job.

“The captain Mario (Booysen) and Sandile (Mthethwa) were solid. They all should get a pat on the back for that. Now they will have to lick their wounds, sharpen their swords, fasten their seatbelts and go to Zambia and get a result – and that is not impossible. I am confident Zambia will have a tough game and they know it.”

According to the SAFA website the Bafana squad is set to lose players who are returning to their clubs – and won’t be part of the second leg fixture – Menzi Masuku (Chippa United), Shane Thompson (Mthatha Bucks), Tshepo Mabua, Keegan Pool (both Stellenbosch FC) and Gift Motupa (Baroka FC).

Tercious Malepe is not eligible to play as he was red-carded against Zambia in the first leg while Asavela Mbekile has a family bereavement.

“Maybe Kumalo can’t play too because of his injury, which we are monitoring, so it’s going to be mission impossible again – but then again it was mission impossible today and they nearly pulled it off. Let’s rather talk about the players that will stay because they will have to do the job for us,” Baxter concluded.

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Late goal from Mulenga sees Zambia draw against South Africa

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by
Staff Reporter

Saturday Aug 12, 2017. 17:29


A goal in the dying minutes of the match from Augustine Mulenga saw Zambia play to a 2-2 draw against South Africa in a first leg, third round African Nations Championship qualifier at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Saturday.

It was a slow start to the game with both sides squandering possession in the final third which resulted in very few decent goal scoring chances.

South Africa, however, began taking control of the match and made their pressure tell with the opening goal on the half hour mark thanks to a strike from Gift Motupa who turned the ball home at a corner-kick, 1-0.

Bafana continued to dictate terms after taking the lead, but could not add to their goal tally before the half time break.

Seven minutes into the second half South Africa did double their lead when Mario Booysen turned home another well-worked corner-kick, 2-0.

After going two goals down Zambia tried to find their way back into the game and did manage to pull a goal back on the hour mark when Lebogang Phiri headed the ball home, 2-1.

South Africa tightened up at the back after that and tried to defend their lead, but they were dealt a crucial blow in the 90th minute when Tercious Malepe was shown a red card following a second bookable offence.

This left Bafana Bafana short in numbers at the back and Zambia managed to equalise in the 93rd minute thanks to a strike from Augustine Mulenga, 2-2.

Having conceded two goals at home South Africa will have a lot to do in the return leg of this third round tie which will be held next weekend in Zambia.

The winner of this two-leg qualifier will take part in CHAN 2019 in Kenya.

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