The Chipolopolo U-17 have been kicked out of the 2015 Africa youth tournament by Nigeria and coach Chris Kaunda says he is disappointed for failing to qualify to the semi-finals and World Cup in Chile.
Zambia lost 1-3 to Nigeria in Niger on Saturday evening to convincingly bid farewell to the 2015 Africa youth championships.
In a post-match interview Kaunda said that his boys made a lot of mistakes and were like any other growing children.
“When a child is growing, they make mistakes and that is what happened with our boys today,” he said.
Kaunda said it was a learning process but the team was happy that it had learned and achieved a lot of things and had taken out lots of positives for Zambian football.
“We are disappointed not to qualify to the semi-finals and the World Cup in Chile but one of the many things we have achieved is to secure the future of Zambian football with these fine talents and that is good for the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria coach Emmanuel Amunike told Cafoline.com that he thanked God for the moment and for the occasion. “The most important thing for us was to go to Chile and I’m happy that we have achieved that objective,” he said. Amunike said his boys played against a very good side which has very good players.
He said his players had to be cautious to play a game which they wanted and at the end of it, they achieved what they went for in Niger.
“We are blessed to be one of the teams representing Africa in Chile and we hope we will continue to do well even when we get there,” he said.
Nigeria and Guinea stormed the semi-finals of the CAF Under-17 championships after finishing first and second respectively as Group ‘A’ play was concluded on Saturday.
Nigeria’s 3-1 victory against Zambia at the Stade Municipal made them to finish on seven points and grab the group’s top spot. And hosts Niger handed Guinea a 2-1 defeat at the Stade Seyni Kountche but the four points collected in the first two group games were enough to see the Syli National juniors finish second.
Zambia and Niger finished on three points each having won one and lost two fixtures respectively.
At the Kountche, the hosts ensured that they finished the tournament on a high with two first half goals; the first as early as the second minute when Issoufou Boubabcar grabbed the opener after a good run into the Guinea box. Ismael Lara restored the hosts’ advantage on 39minutes to the delight of the home crowd after Guinea goalkeeper Djibril Yattara failed to collect a loose ball inside the box. Abdoulaye Keita had put Guinea on levels terms after 27minutes.
The second half saw no goals at the Stade Kountche but across the city at the Municipal, Nigeria and Zambia battled in a match which saw four goals; Nigeria skipper Kelechi Nwakali with a goal either side of a Victor Osimeh’s brace.
Zambia skipper Patson Daka grabbed Chipolopolo juniors’ consolation goal but the chances to threaten Nigeria’s lead were not there.
The bonus of the semi-finals placement at the CAF junior championship is a place at the FIFA U17 World Cup finals set for Chile in October this year.- Cafoline.com