Player Rater: Namibia 1 – 1 Zambia
Justin Shonga came off the bench to save Zambia the embarrassment of losing to Southern neighbors Namibia. It was a last effort in stoppage time in a game that could have easily gone either way for two teams that needed the points to stay on track.
The ZamFoot Crew looks at how the players faired in the game.
Kennedy Mweene 5/10 – Retained the armband under the new coach. He lloked calm and collected. He was not troubled much by the Brave Warriors.
Solomon Sakala 4/10 – He had a shaky start. But he grew into the game. Should have had an assist had Fashion Sakala buried the shot that came off the upright.
Lawrence Chungu 5/10 – Solid performance at left back. Didn’t do much to whip in the cross. He showed his abilities with set-pieces when his shot just missed the upright with the keeper beaten in the first half
Stopilla Sunzu 6/10 – A disciplined performance by the defense kingpin. Had a strong presence in defense, winning balls both in the air and on the ground.
Kabaso Chongo 6/10 – Complemented well with Sunzu. Read the game very well and made good interceptions even when pulled off his socket.
Salulani Phiri 7/10 – A great workhorse for the team. Did the dirty work to win balls and interrupt key attacking moves by the Namibians.
Nathan Sinkala 5/10 – Returned to the team after a long absence and did just enough by keeping it simple. He could have influenced the game more in role playing alongside Salulani. He lost possession in the a dangerous position in the build up to the Namibia goal.
Rainford Kalaba 5/10 – Showed that he still has the skill but may not have the pace. He drifted in and out of the game but looked good when he had the ball at his fit. he had a great chance in the box from an Augustine Mulenga cross but he headed over the bar.
Fashion Sakala 4/10 – A flat performance by the highly talented youngster, often times dribbling himself out of pitch. He could have registered his first goal but saw his shot come off the upright.
Augustine Mulenga 4/10 – Saw a lot of the ball but was not his usual explosive self. He created a good chance for himself in the box but blasted his effort over the bar.
Patson Dak 5/10 – Good work ethic, always chasing and fighting for the ball. He had three chances – he ballooned one, another headed over the bar, one strong shot on target. Not the best ball handling skills on display from him today.
Lubambo Musonda 6/10 – Came on for Fashion Sakala. Good pace, supported the defense well. His highlight was when he cut in from the right, drove to the edge of the box to unleash a belter which was only saved by the keeper.
Enock Mwepu 8/10 – The game changer! He showed urgency when he came on for Salulani with 8 minutes to play and seemed to add a different spark to the team. He was unfortunate to be denied a penalty a minute after he was introduced. He was winning balls in defensive positions and spreading the ball well in attack.
Justin Shonga – A late introduction for Patson Daka. It is obvious he is the best free kick taker in the team but today he had to rely on a lucky deflection to earn Zambia a point from home.
Coach Sven Vandebroeck 5/10
He took a cautious approach with his first game playing two typically defensive midfielders in Salulani Phiri and Nathan Sinkala. Acceptable in that he was playing away and he is still learning his players having gone in his first game without a friendly match. With Namibia playing a high press, Sinkala was struggling to dictate the play from his position and Kalaba was drifting in and out of the game failing to influence play to any significant extent. Sven should have responded quicker to help the situation as well as aiding his struggling wide players seeing that he had a potent bench. To his credit, all his substitutes (though late) brought a positive change to the game (should read into his ability to read the game?) including the goal scorer, Shonga. As someone suggested on social media “Please tell Sven that in Zambia, we do not start with Enock Mwepu on the bench”. And to echo this fan’s perspective, Sven should have known how influential the young lad is to this team if he really watched the most recent Chipolopolo games as was reported.
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