Zambia National soccer team ‘Chipolopolo’ will be out to begin their African Nations Championship,CHAN, in Cameroon, on a winning note as they did in Morocco 2018.
Three years ago, Zambia opened their CHAN campaign with a 3-1 win over Uganda. This time they will kick off their Group D campaign against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars in the coastal city of Limbe tonight.
Coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic has made it clear that a good start in such a competition is very paramount to help boost the confidence and motivation of his players.
But Micho admits the group is very tough, and every game will certainly be handled cautiously with the smaller key details being very important to help win the match.
“We respect Tanzania because they have a strong League and most of their players come from Simba SC who qualified for the CAF Champions League group stage. But we are ready to face them,” says Sredojevic.
Micho is having his third CHAN appearance, after leading Uganda at the 2014 and 2016 Editions.
“It’s a special honour and absolute pleasure to be part of this tournament for the third time,” he added.
On the contrary, Tanzania national soccer team head coach Etienne Ndayiragije will be making his CHAN debut. The Burundian coach said he also respects Zambia, but his team has what it takes to cause surprises in the tournament.
“I am not worried about our opponents because I know a lot about Zambian players since I follow their league, and I also know Sredojevic’s approach,” said the Taifa Stars coach.
Although Tanzania will miss key striker John Raphael Bocco who is yet to shake off an injury he sustained while featuring for his club Simba in the CAF Champions League, Ndayiragije says he has other players who can do the job.
Taifa Stars look to the influence of key senior players Shomari Salum, Erasto Edward Nyoni and goalkeeper Aishi Salum Manula.
“My team is a new generation with many younger players who are ready to fight and defend the national team,” added the coach.
In 2009 the two sides faced-off at the CHAN maiden tournament in Cote d’Ivoire in a game that ended in a 1-1 draw.
In the final round one fixture of the group stages, Guinea will aim to continue their supremacy over Namibia when both nations meet at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium in the second group D match.
The Syli Nationale are making their third participation in the African Nations Championship, while Namibia are making their second, after debuting at the tournament in 2018.
After an impressive fourth-placed finish in their debut campaign in 2016, Guinea crashed out in the group stages of the 2018 edition in Morocco, after finishing third in Group A.
Namibia have not tasted victory against Guinea in their last six meetings, suffering five defeats and one draw, but they will look to bring this poor form to an end when both nations lock horns tonight.
The group ‘D’ matches will be broadcast on KBC TV.
Tuesday Jan 19 2021
Tanzania Vs Zambia-7PM
Guinea Vs Namibia-10pm