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U23 AFCON: Zambia down and out of Olympic race

The Zambia U23 national team was today booted out of the race for a place at the Rio Olympics after they gave away a 1 – 0 half time lead to lose 3 – 2 to South Africa in the second game of group A.

South Africa started well and were pressing from the start but Zambia looked calm and thwarted all the South Africans runs with ease.

Despite being on the backfoot, Zambia had an effort from Benedict Chepeshi before the hour mark parried over by the South African goalie.

It was Conlyde Luchanga who made the difference in the 35th minute when he volleyed home a cross from Spencer Sautu from inside the box to give Zambia the lead which they held on to until the break.

However, the young Chipolopolo undid their hard work in the opening eight minutes of the second half when they conceded three quick goals starting in the 47th minute when they failed to clear a corner for South Africa to score in a congested area.

They then conceded again from another set piece in the 51st minute when the defenders were caught sleeping for South Africa to head home. The final blow was a defense splitting pass which saw the South African striker hit the third expertly from inside the box.

Defender Paul Katema scored a consolation in the 72nd minute but South Africa held on to keep their hopes of qualifying alive.

Zambia have a formality match against Senegal on Friday.

Zambia XI v RSA: 16. Toaster Nsabata (c)- 3. Benedict Chepeshi, 13. Kapota Kayawe (Salulani Phiri), 18. Billy Mutale4. Boyd Mkandawire – 10. Spencer Sautu (Aubrey Chirwa), 12. Benson Sakala, 15. Paul Katema, 11. Lubambo Musonda – 9. Ronald Kampamba (Friday Samu) -17. Conlyde Luchanga

71 Comments to U23 AFCON: Zambia down and out of Olympic race

  1. chitechi says:

    problem with old chaps masquerading as under 23s,the likes of lubambos and company.

  2. F-15 says:

    Faz and coaches to blame for this poor show

  3. FLOYD says:

    That was a shitty display….No creativity whatsoever in the team…Those wingbacks are not the best we have..Paul katema’s body language n sense of position leaves much to b desired.Nsabata Toaster is not a good keeper..Overall nothing to write home about..Bullshit!!

  4. Bandana says:

    “Zambia is going to the Olympics” To do what? You have 5 or 6 players from your senior team and you can’t win a single game, yet you claim to be “giants”.

    How are you giants? If Ghana who have 3 more afcons, 3 world cup appearances and Nigeria with 3 afcons, 5 world cup appearances and an Olympic gold medal are classified as giants then how are you in that category?

  5. Egwugwu says:

    kalusha doesnt appoint coaches on merit.

  6. banda says:

    pathetic team selection wasting people’s money it was clear from the start that we did not have the midfield acumen to compete….should have let ivory coast qualify. I know for a fact they would not have lost to s a guess it’s back to the imaginary drawing board were we don’t draw anything really coz if we did we would be exporting art not shambolic mediocre individuals masquerading as coaches and footballers

  7. Watch Over says:

    Zambia has a lot to learn about modern football , they play like they are from space no system what’s all ever, you can’t send that kind of team to represent Africa at Olympics it’s a shame to say the least.

  8. Bandana says:

    You try to put yourselves in the same class as people who are faarrr ahead of you in every conceivable aspect in football but then you get mad when Namibia whom you have only 1 afcon better than them compare themselves to you.

    If you passed elementary arithmetics then you should know that Namibia is closer to Zambia in terms of football achievements than Zambia is to Ghana and Nigeria.

  9. Chiko says:

    No recognisable pattern of play means just one thing … poor coaching. One other missing link is lack of creative central mid-fielders and wingers. The likes of mukuka mulenga. The philosophy of the senior national team seems to have been replicated here

  10. Smm-sJC says:

    Sad but that’s football ladies and gents. We are still Chipolopolo! Shalom

  11. Badosqi says:

    Afcon, Caf U17, Caf U20, AAG and now Caf U23 all in 2015.

    What a year.

  12. Bandana says:

    The top superpowers of African football are Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. Period.
    CIV and Congo are better than Zambia, these teams have more afcons and have been to the world cup.
    Stop deluding yourselves.

    • Peter Vogel says:

      And who said Zambia was a giant? I am Zambian and I’m here telling you that calling us giants is the biggest joke ever!

  13. Duncandinho says:

    We’re not just good enough especially with the local coaches leading the team.

  14. Seen from afar says:

    I can see that all these players have potential, they could out hustle tunisia and probably SA though i didn’t watch it. We can create scoring chances but the teams defence can not hold water, very weak it would seem so any advantage we have is lost. It is the same old story for Zambian teams, lack of technical(some tactical) knowledge. You can see how well drilled the Tunisian players were technically and they must have been trained from an early age. Even in our senior team we see so many players without technical knoweldge and training. That is the defence, midfield and attack.

    These players will be senior one day and they will play these players again, we have something/potential, but under Zambian manangement or the current state of affairs this is all we can hope for. The end result be the same, always the same result under Janza or even patrick Phiri, unless we have a big technical injection from outside of Zambia we cant change this.

  15. muleenga says:

    Faz out

  16. Atleast the technical bench and the players are smart tourists who have gained some rands they where negotiating 4 at 1/2 time with rsa counterparts. its a matter of speding tax payers money as tourists, then enjoy and come back home rich. Football is business, better u satisfy yourselves than fans back home. Next its chan!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Local coaches have failed us.They should go to school and learn new coaching tactics of modern football. we r tired of this mediocrity by our local coaches.

  18. Egwugwu says:


  19. Positive thinking says:

    So I will repeat my statement. How can you expect success with no preparations? It’s like I’m the only one who thinks this on here, which is even sadder. FAZ thinks they can announce a team for a tournament a month prior and have zero friendlies and a 2 week camp then comeback with a trophy. Even the bloggers here are busy blaming the coach and yet the man walked into a gun fight with a bazooka he hasn’t had a chance to fire yet. If you think winning qualifiers is enough, then you are all mistaken.

  20. NAZO says:

    Fighton is Pumka this why he was fired Zanaco and Zesco.He does’t read the game and he is a wrong Guy for any National team.

  21. local coaches are rubbish , kalusha why do you succumb to people who always cry for a local trainer ,these local coaches are a let down Fight on is useless how can you leave Moses phiri , patson daka than Friday samu and chirwa rubbish,idiots ,fools ,bullshit

  22. Badosqi says:

    Did I just see Patson daka there? The new song is that Patson should not have been excluded…,…..hehehehehehehehehehehe

    Same Patson you guys crucified here or the one from Mars. Surely you can neva satisfy people.

  23. muchofe says:

    Everyone on this cite knows very well that we played well when we had expertriet coaches in charge. But with these locals, awe suwa mwebantu. Everything is falling apart especially with pf in charge of this country. Anyway, even our failing football is ‘global’ coz we cant afford a knowledgeable coach. This is not politicking,its the reality of the situation ba Zed..

  24. DISCIPLINE says:

    Pathetic to say the least toaster,chepeshi,body and kapota are so useless anyway those lads were not even worth to go to rio.

  25. sly says:

    Well Zambia lost the second game and they are out. However, this is the most crucial time to move Zambia’s football forward instead of taking it backwards.Lessons are always useful.Apart from a few lessons learnt it is worth appreciating that despite not making it further Zambia has a team. Imagine the number of African teams that kissed the dust at the stages earlier than this one. Obviously its not all of them that are better than Zambia. Most African teams have been in this situation and the mistake has been to disband their unsuccessful team forgetting that the team is fairly strong for it to have reached that stage. This team needs to be nurtured. Friendly games and beefing it up are crucial components of nurturing it. Dropping non performers from it is another…………

  26. Badosqi says:

    Tunisia 0-1 Senegal 29mins.

    Senegal will make it out of this group A easily. But which country will join them Tunisia or South Africa. Both will be on 3 points(senegal will defeat tunisia) when they meet for the last group game.

    Algeria and Egypt played a 1-1 draw, a big opportunity for Nigeria and especially mali. Mali will capitalise on this. They will defeat Algeria tomorrow to get their qualification back on track. 2 west Africans will be thru to the semis if Nigeria can defeat Egypt tomorrow.

  27. shingananani says:

    Why are we allowing dull coaches to coach at national level, to start with they can’t even coach or impart technical discipline into their players at their clubs, and this they just can’t do because they don’t have it themselves, besides they are just plain dull, I doubt if they can even write anything on the board that they always claim they will get back to. Nonsence!!

  28. Logic says:

    I decided to give myself a few moments to reflect on this loss before commenting. After watching our National teams play under the current crop of local coaches, it is clear to me that these coaches cannot meet our aspirations as a Nation. I think the coaches are doing their best but their best is not good enough. Their current level of skill or knowledge of the game is limited and it would be foolish for us to expect them to perform beyond their capabilities. We either need to invest in their education or get someone who has a better understanding of modern football.
    What I saw today was very unintelligent play on the part of the players and I do not say this as an insult to the players but simply to show that even with skill, that skill needs direction and nurturing and that is where a coach comes in. A few observations in today’s game.
    1. All our throw-ins were directed at people with two defenders on them when more open options were available. The frequency with which this happened lends one to believe that these players are taught to always throw the ball forward versus looking for an open man and then building up their attack’
    2. Long balls have never been our strength and the sooner we realize that, the better. If you are undersized and always second to the ball, you will lose the ball every time you play long balls.
    3. We were settling for a lot of bounce passes and aerial passes where defenders were clearly commanding the upper hand and it is no wonder we could not keep possession.
    4. Our off the ball position is terrible, we did not plug holes and gravitated towards the ball leaving opposing players to run circles around us. When attacking on one wing, all our players gravitated towards that wing and the center leaving the other wing unmanned and as a result we made it easy for the defense to stop us as we did not stretch them out like they did us.
    5. Ball watching….A perennial problem in defense
    6. Midfield was nonexistent.
    7. One shot at goal in the second half and it resulted in a goal…one does not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the implications of this.
    With said, I do not blame the coach because he coached according to is abilities, which in all honesty are not good enough at this level. The same case can be made for George Lwandamina at senior level. The team has a lot of skill but they need a coach that can harness that skill and help us improve tactically. I believe our lack of tactical intelligence and discipline have been our limiting factors in this tournament.

    • Positive Thinking says:

      Awe ba Logic. These coaches are not being afforded adequate preparation or real support.

      Case and point; Herve Renard 2012 squad went into camp 2 months prior to AFCON 2012. Played friendlies in India (2 friendlies) and an additional 2 friendlies (1 vs Nigeria and another against Egypt) then they were the first team to arrive in Eq Guinea, 1 month before kickoff.

      Fast forward to 2015 under Honour Janza. Zambia played no friendlies, team goes into camp about 3 weeks prior to kickoff, arrive in Eq Guinea 48 hrs before kickoff.

      Fast forward to U23 2015 tournament under Fighton Simukonda and the team arrives 72 hrs prior, no friendly matches played no preparation.

      So you guys want to sit here and tell me European coaches are better, when in actual fact, no preparation is ever afforded to local coaches. We treat local coaches like miracle workers, they are expected to conjur up results without adequate preparation or planning. But somehow a man paid more money is given more resources to succeed. Shame on us for such. Even Mourinho could not save this team with such shoddy preps.

      • Logic says:

        Positive Thinking, you make very good points but I still contend that the level of coaching knowledge hast plateaued with theses coaches. I watch some of the training sessions that FAZ and Zamfoot post online and all I see are the same physical fitness drills. I want to see a classroom session or even a clip board with some strategy outlined. You can give these guys all the friendlies in the world but as long as we do not equip them with the ability to increase their knowledge and improve on their understanding of the game, we will continue to get the same results. Football is like a chess match these days, we have to outwit the opponent and I think the best we can do is provide them with further training or even attach them to some European leagues, for a few weeks at a time so that they can at least develop a better understanding of the game. I miss the days when we used to play Champagne football under the late tactician George Mungwa. Our teams had an identity and unique type of playing then. What is our identity as a team these days?

      • Positive Thinking says:

        Logic, I hear you mudala. I am not disagreeing on the need for tactical acumen and a drastic improvement is definitely required, but I think we set these local coaches up for failure.

        Simukonda had a pretty good squad, but the level of expectation heaped on a team is inversely proportional to the preparation. This mathematical formula does not work. Any coach regardless of pedigree cannot be expected to succeed under these circumstances.

        This is why I have always lamented and failed to really gauge local coaches. None of us on this blog know how a local coach would do with the right support, because we have not seen it.

        • Logic says:

          That is very true and I agree 100% with what you have said. FAZ is the problem is the real problem in this whole equation, when it’s all said and done.

  29. john says:

    Zambia has the players the problem is Kalusha bwalya marketing who he wants.

  30. muchofe says:

    If i may ask. why is it that our jersey is the only one with caf tournament burge or is it a logo loosely hanging and almost falling down? While other team have good looking ones. This os zambia for you. We really dont know what has hit us and everything doesnt just seem to be fine.

    • Positive Thinking says:

      Ba Muchofe. The Nike contract expired a year ago, and FAZ is yet to find a new kit sponsor. You would think that with 6 months or so before the contract expired one would have made the move to either find a new sponsor or at least verify renegotiation of the contract. Somehow this is what we consider acceptable management in Zambia.

  31. Kelvin Chilufya says:

    We are day dreamers. Apart from the late Samuel zoom Ndhlovu (MHSRP) who qualified Zambia to the Olympics and won an Afcon bronze, local coaches have failed us. Expatriates won us medals in 1974;1982;1994;1996;2012 Afcons.

  32. Don says:

    Senegal 2- Tunisia 0.

  33. john says:

    30,000 us dollars a month is nothing we need expatriate coaches for the national team. We will not survive without the mark my words. No local coach can win any medal at a caf competition

  34. Peter Vogel says:

    It is the coach and most of all our pathetic football association that is to blame for this and not the players (who luck tactical intelligence but it’s not their fault) ! How do you expect to qualify for the Olympics with no preparations what soever apart from a one or two week camp and training which didn’t include all the players that played today like Lubambo Musonda and Ronald Kampamba. You make players play together for the first time in a tournament and expect them to perform!

  35. local trainers are a bunch of failure’s criminals. You see it pains the way they select players

  36. Don says:

    They want to line their pockets that’s y their not interested with players already sold like Mbola,M Mulenga,Kangwa,Musakanya etc…..to bad but the biggest problem we he is Kalu.

  37. kay says:

    it was really terrible that we cud nt hold on to our lead.i cud even c dat our players well under pressure.normally our players were nt psycholocally read and ended up cosiding three goals in less than ten mins.wat pains me more is de wastage of tax payer’s money.

  38. Willard says:

    Unfortunately, about nine of those players are dependable at senior level. I knew this tournament was going to open Luandamina’s eyes to the fact that they are not yet national team materials. let’s bring back the experienced professionals, or we are doomed

  39. Rodrick says:

    The big is they like changing the team thats why the starndad of plaing is poor,the Renar team waz very good,now i dont know where it is and we cant compare the Renar team with lwandamina’s and his freind Simukonda,even the national team the starndad of playing is poor,the national team for Lwaandamina we cant compare it with the junior team which carried the cosafa under Renar,so let’s not put faith with local coaches they dont know coaching.

  40. idi amin al gaddafi says:

    Ghana and naija are playing with HUNGER and these amateurs take their half baked talent to mediocre tournesy and start making noise. Lol

  41. Syd says:

    We need to give ourselves a chance what I mean by that. Let’s prepare earlier and properly at all levels this what I have seen time after time not being down arriving at the tournament 72 hours before start at all levels no proper friendly no team bonding etc. If you fail to prepare be prepare to fail simple as that. No excuse no need to say lesson learned as we keep making these mistakes over and over with some players experience the same mediocre prepare on 3 fronts in one single year. Senior team first round exist, under 23 same under 20 same under 17 same sure this is not luck but lack of preparation among others. Send some locals coaches to Europe for two years and watch learn and experience day to day high standard of coaching. Some of our defending and kick rush in the final third is not up to standard of other times on the continent. Enough is enough we must make these changes from now.

  42. start. withlubambo says:

    Bring back our passing game FAZ PLEASE… This philosophy of play being imposed by useless coaches that can Fight-on and Chikenless will finish Zambia

  43. zim bullet says:

    those who think zambia lost because of poor preparation they are lost. its because of poor team selection not preparations.how can built a massion with farm bricks.

  44. Alex zz says:

    Why can’t you people for once admit you were not good enough to qualify instead of coming up with excuses. Only sunzu mainly because of Renard plays football in the top 5 leagues in Europe, that in itself indicates the level of talent in Zambia. Your players are simply lacking technically,physically and psychologically in order to compete at highest level.

  45. idi amin al gaddafi says:

    Am making it clear that, these fellas only motivation for qualifying is simple to meet ghana! When ghana is not there, see how pathetic and demotivated these players are! Lol

    Until the day, they learned to tone down their expectations and stop calling themselves giants and other big titles, they arent going anywhere!

    They talked about beating italy in seoul 88 but ghana also beat italy with some classic italian players in Atlanta 96 and that match was one of the best performances by an african team in the olympics!

    The likes of nigeria and cameroon has already won the olympics but they dont yup like these fellas!

    Just take a look at this year alone and see their performances from unxer 17 to the olympics and u can see a nation that lacks in talent but wldnt want to accept reality!!

    Zambia is a mid table team and they have a long way to go and they can only improve if their amateurish fans stop the unnecessary hype

    • Uncle Bobs says:

      Herein lies the problem. And we swing like pendulums, win one match we are the best, lose one we’re the worst. Sustainability requires one 85% WANT TO (Attitude) ad only 15% HOW and HAVE TO (Knowledge and Skills)-we mostly just focus on the 15% including the many many (quantity) of courses being given to our coaches that we don’t see translated into reality (EXECUTION-only discipline of getting things done) on the pitches during league matches. End result chipantepante soccer-see Logic’s comments up there!

  46. idi amin al gaddafi says:

    I said it this week that, south africa is the only decent team from that region and some of them were ranting over here!

    South africa is the only nation in that region that has produced a truly great team( 96) that be compared to the seasonal teams from ghana-naija and those of egypt in the afcon!!

    That south africa team was truly great and though no disrecpect to zambia here as their tunisia squad was also decent, it cant be compared to that south africa 96 squad! That squad had depth from the first 11 to the bench!!

    South africa again is more talented than any south africa nation and the day they gonna get it right, they ll beat alot of so called giants in africa!!

    Just maybe zambia was robbed of its awesome talented squad by that tragic plane crash but we can still know if that squad cld have qualify zambia to the wc!!!

    South africa has some serious talent and it has started to show!!

  47. Alex zz says:

    @ idi amin al gaddafi, Zambians won’t like what you saying about their neighbours south Africa. facts are facts, south Africa has always had talented players who lack self believe or discipline, if south Africa can get its house in order I see a very powerful footballing nation that can compete with west African countries , the last game they played Nigeria they made Nigeria loom bad if not for poor discipline could have seriously hammered Nigeria. Even during afcon all their matches they scored 1st but ended up losing matches.

    • Idi amin al gaddafi says:

      Spot on mate

    • Idi amin al gaddafi says:

      The talent of south africa is amazing esp with their carpet,sweeping play and if they can have a serious end product from this move, their play ll be similar to arsenal or barcelona and u cant do this if u font have the inbred talent in u!

      Those guys can play some champagne football and all that is lacking is the decision making in the final third and the day they get it right ll be the day, the world ll see a truly great africa brazil ready to take the world by storm!

      In the afcon, they outplayed algeria, outplayed senegal but cldnt outplayed ghana because of ghana having the superior technical abilities and probably more tactical but they are fabulous!!

      I did knkw that, they ll beat zambia because i watched their match and they were truly great!

      People has also forgotten that south africa has already beaten two world champions, spain in a highly competitive friendly match with all their star players and again has beaten FRANCE IN THE WC TOO!!

      When did zambia play against france or spain? Lol

      U cant compare zambia to south africa because south africa has produce better players, been to the wc on more than two occassions, produced players that has featured in elite leagues and some were even leading goalscorers in those leagues and not sounding controversial, kalu is the only recognisable zambian player known world wide as the rest are tilapia in the ocean!!

      South africa has some serious names on their roaster… Steve pienaar, McCARTHY, mark fish, paul william, issa( very famous), masinga, dr khumalo, john moshoe!!!

  48. freddie sichone says:

    When we win one game, it’s praise for local coaches even when it’s against run of play. In Kenya, we were luck to win cause we played the worst soccer. And beating a Sudanese team 1 : 0 should not be taken as an achievement especially that it came after Gabon had recorded a 4:0 win over Sudan just there. The problem is corruption has invaded our soccer and we will need a lot of effort and sacrifice to come out this. Even the soccer fans association have become vuvuzelas for corrupt practices. I remember very well when Jan Brower put up a string of bad results, Kalusha then playing in Mexico, said 3 losses are enough to make a coach resign in Europe. My question now, is how many poor tournament outings are enough in Africa to make an FA president resign?

    • Idi amin al gaddafi says:

      Corruption is rampant everywhere in africa!!

      Dont put the blame on Corruption but accept the fact that zambia is not good!!

      They are technically good just like all african nations are even comoros but TACTICALLY POOR AND MENTALLY WEAK!

      Just one win and they think they ve arrive!

  49. Kay Hummer says:

    This PATHETIC team was never going to beat South Africa, not in a million years! I said it before that this is the WORST under 23 team that we have ever had in more than 50 years.

  50. Kay Hummer says:

    I was insulted for calling a spade a spade and not a big spoon. People i read and study football. Some people should get that into their thick heads!!!!! This team should now be completely be DISBANDED and another team constituted that is going to bring better results!

  51. Kay Hummer says:

    A commission of inquiry should immediately be set up to investigate how this team was assembled and what criteria was used.

  52. Kay Hummer says:

    PATHETIC and USELESS coach Fighton Simukonda should immedialely resign from his position or face the humiliation of getting FIRED!!!

  53. john says:

    Freddie sichone and Kay hummer have hammered the nail on the head. Local coaches and Kalusha himself have failed period.

  54. Duncandinho says:

    Ba Kay hummer bena kuwayawayafye, if this is the worst under 23 team in the last 50 years, what then did those better teams achieve that makes them better than this? don’t just rant for the sake of it, bring out facts mudala .

  55. Pungwa says:

    Why weren’t players like Chota, Evans Kangwa, Charles Zulu, Patson Daka, Musakanya, Cletus Chama, Moses Phiri , not included. Our team selection smacks of personal interests ahead of national pririties. We didn’t pick our best team for this tournament. We didn’t have a playmaker ( No. 8 )hence this disaster. We are not good enough to go any further.

  56. Kay Hummer says:

    Duncandinho, get a life; you are one of those chaps who live in a fantasy world. This team is pathetic and one of the worst in more than 50 years. Get that into your head!

  57. Merrick says:

    @Alex RSA also beat Brazil in 2002 Athens,brazil had the likes of ronaldinho,adriano,ronaldo,etc some serious names but never will RSA make noise about that match as it was long time ago and they had talented players in the mix like mccarthy,Fortune,pienaar..etc….Zambia was bad and we not a giant in africa

  58. Chu says:

    I laugh when you guys always say you coteau to North Africans. Like seriously? And you call yourself gaints. I dont remember the last time Ghana lost to an Africo-Arab state (Chu diction 2013).
    On another note I think Zamb should had done some little research and keep tabs on mutupa kid. Dolly seem to be another gem. But it shows how average a soccer nation Zambia is.
    If you dont do your fear home work well, you can have as many as 3 North Africans in your group.

  59. Kamwa says:

    One of the weakest link in our Team is the goalkeeper, in most cases any team that goes far in a competition and wins the tournament, has in its books a good goalkeeper. When the entire defense is bitten, the team can depend on the goalkeeper, but this cannot be a case for Nsabata. My recommendation is that for the last game they just need to bring in one of the reserve goalkeepers, Nsabata despite been the skipper has failed us his judgement and reading the game when under pressure was poor. The difference between the 1988 Olympic team with our current U23 team was that the 1988 team was the entire senior team while the current has only about 5 junior senior team players.

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