Friday, June 14, 2024

Group stage pass aptly

Sibeleki on Monday

After Zanaco were pummeled into submission by Mbabane Swallows on Saturday 3-1 on aggregate, It was aptly, for the sake of our country, that Zesco United earned the rights to shuttle, against Asec Mimosas to the group stages of the CAF Champions league.

And, when time came to defend the Zambia National flag from being dragged to the dogs, The Team Yaziko – translation “Team of the Nation” – rallied from the backfoot to conquer the Ivory Coast club, in their domicile.

When referee Hamada El Moussa from Madagascar pointed to the spot, awarding Asec Mimosas a penalty, after goalkeeper Jacob Banda brought down Ahmed Toure inside the box, then defender Bagnon Anicet Badie converted, to double the lead on aggregate – you could have thought that was the final nail on the coffin.

But the Electricity boys gathered the power from all the Hydro Electric powers across the nation, and triggered electric shocks at Stade Felex Houphouet B. Goals from Fackson Kapumbu in first half and Lazarus Kambole in the latter, restored parity on aggregate, hence Zesco United advancing on away goal jurisdiction.

APTLY FOR POINTS

It was aptly that Zesco United advanced to the group stages, as it is the only way the Zambian league will amass points in the CAF 5-Year ranking paradigm. We can now rest at easy, a point is in our bags and either Zanaco will make the CAF Confederation Cup group stages is an afterthought.

It is the points, earned from the group stages, courtesy the semifinals, going forward until the final – that saw our league making strides into the top 10 of the CAF 5-year ranking.

According to a document, explicitly and exclusively revealed to ZamFoot by former CAF Media Director Junior Binyam, the Zambia Super league is currently ranked ninth, among the 12 elites, with the rights to field four clubs in the African Champions league and Confederation Cup.

Thanks to Zesco United, we now have ample hopes that our place in the top 10 is cemented, and that we can maintain the current setting of a twofold than previously entrants, the privilege that National leagues ranked outside the top 12 do not have.

APTLY TO CLEAR CHEMBO MISCONCEPTION

Clearly, the caretaker coach Tenant CHEMBO is marginalized by the Executive to take up the head coach role. Despite him proving capable of occupying the hot seat, the misdemeanor resolve by the club executive to return former coach George Lwandamina is cast in stone.

It was aptly that CHEMBO guided the Zambian Champions to the group stages of the 2018 CAF Champions league, so perhaps the executive can rescind the decision of trying to lure Lwandamina back home.

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On Behalf of SIBELEKI ON MONDAY COLUMN, I say Congratulations to Zesco United. Until next Monday – be showered with God blessings, and Good bye!

[ You can connect with me on Twitter @SibelekiJames, Facebook James Sibeleki, Email me [email protected] and WhatsApp +260975757824.]

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