The Zambia national team will open its Cameroon Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) campaign against neighbours Tanzania in a Group D fixture on 19 January 2021.

According to the confirmed schedule released by the Confederation of African Football, the Chipolopolo will be based in South-West Cameroon and will play its group matches at the 20,000 capacity, Limbe Omnisport Stadium.

Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic’s men will then face Guinea on 23 January followed by another clash with neighbours Namibia on 27 January.

The quarterfinals have been set for the 30 and 31 January, and will be followed by the semi-finals on 3 February, the third and fourth place match on 6 February and the finals will be played on 7 February at Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde.

On Wednesday, Zambia kicked off preparations for the CHAN and back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifier matches with a 1-0 win over the Flames of Malawi in an international friendly match played at Heroes stadium in Lusaka.

Napsa Stars’ striker Collins Sikombe’s 14th minute opener was the difference in the match that could have had a different scoreline had the boys converted their chances, while Malawi also went close but Gabadihno Mhango’s goal bound shot was cleared off the line by Dominic Chanda.

Micho made a cocktail of changes when he introduced eight players in the second half, a decision he explained when he appeared before dozens of journalists at the post-match press conference.

“This is our desire to keep and preserve the energy because some of these players at least three of them will be used against Kenya on Friday and we need to economize with the energy in the right way,” the Serb said.

“I need to say that I count myself 50 per cent happy that we have done very well in the reaction when we lose the ball, defensive organisation. I am very happy the way we defended as a team especially in set pieces which is our weakness and we need to improve a lot as a nation.”

The team is expected to leave for Nairobi today ahead of the friendly tomorrow. They will face South Africa on Sunday in Rustenburg and will wrap up their match schedules with fixtures against Micho’s former side Orlando Pirates and current South African champions, Mamelodi Sundowns.


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