Tuesday, June 18, 2024

AFCON a chance for Zambia redemption

Once regarded as giants of African football, Zambia will hope to make a triumphant return to the apex of African football, when they participate in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Well, no Zambian referee will be at the competition, which saves the nation from the potential embarrassment Janny Sikazwe served us last time out when he ended a game prematurely, to much controversy.

However, the nation’s hopes rest on the youthful Zambia national team that aims to emulate the heroics of the team that won it all in 2012.

As is the custom, such major competitions mean a lot of betting avenues and many bookies are lining up offers to go with the showpiece in Ivory Coast.

In South Africa, bookies are offering up to R5000 through promo code STYVIP for new customers as we gear towards the competition and in this same spirit we have betting sites with free registration bonus in South Africa, analyzed on Sportytrader.

For the Zambia national team, after a great run in the qualifiers, this is the best moment to reward fans, having failed to really impress in the two AFCON finals they qualified in after winning it in 2012.

Back to West Africa

Over a decade after that famous triumph in Gabon, engineered by Chris Katongo and co, the Chipolopolo returns to west Africa, hoping for a better run than in their last two appearances. In the two appearances, Zambia failed to win a game and they were eliminated at the group stage on both occasions.

However, they lost just one game in the six they played across the two appearances. With the likes of Patson Daka and Fashion Sakala set to grace the 2023 AFCON finals, this is definitely a chance at redemption for Zambia. The nation’s football is on an upward trajectory and the presence of an experienced head at the helm, Avram Grant, is a reason for Zambian fans to brace this with optimism.

Former champions

In the coming AFCON finals, Zambia will play in Group F, where they are drawn against two former African champions; Morocco and DR Congo alongside the minnows from East Africa, Tanzania. A series of friendly matches to warm up for the competition, including one against Egypt will offer Avram Grant’s charges the much-needed preparations and physicality. Sakala, speaking after a 3-0 friendly win over Uganda, stated that they feel ready for any opponent at the AFCON finals.

A graduate of the U20 team that won the AFCON U20 title, Sakala has tasted victory, played at the high level and the Copper Bullets should be able to bounce off his experience.

Stopilla Sunzu, scorer of the winning penalty against Ivory Coast in 2012 is still in the team and his massive experience will also be crucial for the team. 

Meanwhile, Patson Daka is doing well, and though he is struggling for game time at Leicester City, he will be an important piece in this competition. In the friendly against Uganda, he scored a brace and that will really lift his confidence levels.

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