THE junior Chipolopolo have a good chance of doing well in Senegal because they are fired up, says ex- national soccer team coach Patrick Phiri.
Phiri said Zambia had a good side that can take on any team at the Senegal 2015 Under-23 African tournament that kicks off this Saturday. He said the Group A rivals Tunisia, Senegal and South Africa were beatable provided the U-23 boys worked extra hard.
“I believe Zambia has a formidable team. We are in a tough group and the boys need to stay focused and put their hearts into the game. All we need is to win two games and draw the third to reach the semi-final.
‘‘They have the confidence but need to fight till the last whistle to book a place at the Olympics in Brazil,” he said.
Phiri hailed the Fighton Simukonda technical bench for ensuring that the team was adequately prepared for battle.
“The coaches have done their part, and it’s up to the players to deliver on the pitch. The team includes players that featured at national team level, hence have enough experience,” he said.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) communication manager Nkweto Tembwe, speaking from Dakar, confirmed the arrival of the team in Senegal and revealed that striker Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba and midfielder Lubambo Musonda will join the squad today. “All the players that coach Fighton Simukonda has summoned have arrived in Senegal except Lubambo Musonda and Ronald Kampamba who will join the squad in Dakar on Thursday,” he said. The tournament will run from November 28 to December 12 and the three teams that top the tournament will represent Africa at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Zambia kicks off her campaign this Saturday against Tunisia before playing South Africa on December 1 and will wrap up their preliminary round matches against Senegal three days later. In 1988, the Chipolopolo shocked the football world when they walloped Italy 4 – 0 at the Seoul Olympic Games on September 19 at Gwangju Mudeung Stadium. FAZ current president Kalusha Bwalya scored a hat-trick in the game.