Zambia U20 make easy work of South Africa in friendly match
The Zambia U20 national team continued their build up for he 2017 Zambia U20 Africa Cup of Nations finals with an easy stroll over their South African counter parts who they beat 2 – 1.
With some key players such as Mangani Banda, Boyd Musonda, Fashion Sakala, Conlyde Luchanga and Patson Daka missing from the squad owing to club duties, coach ‘Quick Silver’ Bestone Chambeshi showed that he has enough depth in the squad as the available lads dominated their visitors in all departments from the start.
It was the usual backline of Prosper Chiluya and Shemmy Mayembe as full backs with skipper Solomon Sakala partnering Moses Nyondo in central defense though the latter had to be substituted in he 5th minute owing to injury for Benson Chali.
Portugal based Emmanuel Banda played the holding midfield role putting up an excellent performance with Harrison Chisala playing right in front of him in the engine room.
Denmark based Kenneth Kalunga and Chrispin Sakulanda where on the flanks with Edward Chilufya leading the line while goal scorer Enock Mwepu played right behind him.
Samson Banda in the Zambian goal was hardly troubled in the first quarter of the match as Zambia searched for a goal with Banda pulling the strings from deep in midfield.
The South Africans were not doing enough to close down the midfield triangle of Banda, Chisala and Mwepu and always looked second best in he midfield battles.
Chilufya was also finding space with his pace in the defensive pockets of the vsitors but was unlucky not to have registered a goal as he was twice denied by the brilliance of Sanele Tshabalala in the South African goal.
Zambia however broke the deadlock in the 27th minute with a Mwepu towering header from a corner which left the keeper no chance.
Despite having the greater share of possession the Zambians failed to extend the lead and the score remained a narrow 1 – 0 lead at half-time.
At half time, Sipho Mbule replaced Sydney Mtshweni and South Africa were looking a different side after the restart.
They started to dominate play with dimunitive Sibongakonke Mbatha coming out of his shell to run rings around the Zambian midfield.
A well taken free kick in the 51st minute by Khanyisa Mayo just edged Banda’s upright and the introduction of Liam Jordan in the 57th minute gave them more stability with his lose control.
However, all the good work the South Africans were doing amounted to nothing as Zambia broke on the right wing with Sakulanda whose low ball was turned in by Aghmat Ceres who had Chilufya breathing down his shoulder for the second goal of the day.
The visitors were given a lucky break when the referee gave them a soft penalty for a foul in the box despite the defender getting the ball first.
Jordan stepped up to convert the spot kick in the 73rd minute and he would later miscue a shot on top of the box as they desperately searched for an equaliser.
Zambia further introduced Siame Musonda, Joseph Phiri and Edward Tembo for Kalunga, Banda and Sakulanda but they had little impact in helping change the shape of the game.
With four games played and winning three since the Cosafa U20 triumph in December, Chambeshi’s looks confident ahead of the kickoff of the U20 tournament on 26th February.
The young Chipolopolo were have only been beaten by the Barcelona B side.
South Africa XI
Mwepu, Kolala Survive as Bwale trims squad
Zambia’s leading goalscorer at the 2017 COSAFA U20 championships Francisco Mwepu and midfielder Benson kolalaRead More
Numba names provisional squad for U20 title defence
Zambia will soon start it’s title defence for the U20 Africa Cup of Nations withRead More