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‘I know Chipolopolo’s weakness,’ DRC coach says ahead of Kasumbalesa derby

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CHIPOLOPOLO’S Africa Cup of Nations (AfCON) adventure tonight gets underway with the first hurdle being a familiar foe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a Kasumbalesa border derby.

Zambia is making a return to the AfCON having missed the party on the last three occasions: Gabon (2017), Cameroon (2019) and Morocco (2021). The team last played at the AfCON in 2015 and ironically, DRC were its first opponent.

Their paths have crossed again, this time everyone’s hope is that the match will not end in a 1 – all draw like it was on the previous encounter.

DRC coach Sebastien Desabre sounds like a man who has done his homework.

“They have good players who have speed. That is their strength but they have weaknesses, I cannot say what they are because I have an idea of their weakness but that’s for me to know,” Desabre said at the briefing.

Those good players Desabre is referring could be Patson Daka, Lameck Banda, Fashion Sakala among others, and for the weakness, well he may just be talking about the defense.

Granted, Daka Fashion, Kings Kangwa and Banda may offer the attacking threat but that will count for nothing if the team is porous in midfield and at the back.

It will also be interesting to see who starts in goal among the trio of Lawrence Mulenga, Francis Mwansa and Toaster Nsabata.

Ahead of the match, coach Avram Grant appears cautious with his targets knowing too well that this is a game that may define Zambia’s destiny at the tournament.

Tanzania and Morocco await after this assignment.

“We are in a tough group and we need to see how much progress we have made over the last one year in this game that is why the first game is very important,” Grant said in a pre-match interview “We will see tomorrow [tonight] if we are ready or not,”

Kickoff is 22:00hrs Central African Time

(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 17th January, 2024)

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Arrows, Mighty play to Virgin draw, Nkana held by Forest

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RED Arrows and Mufulira Wanderers played to a barren draw at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka in a Super League Week 22 match.

It appears Wanderers exhausted all their bullets in the 5-0 win over Zanaco last week, firing blanks against Leaders Arrows.

In other matches played today, Green Buffaloes beat Konkola Blades 4-2 while Nkwazi played to a 1-all draw against Kansanshi Dynamos in Solwezi.

The Kabwe derby between Kabwe Warriors and Prison Leopards ended goalless same as the match between Zanaco and Napsa Stars.

Nkana welcomed their fans back to Nkana Stadium with a 1-all stalemate against Forest Rangers.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 24th February, 2024)

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‘We are not Zanaco,’ Red Arrows coach reminds Mufulira Wanderers ahead of clash

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RED Arrows coach Chisi Mbewe says his team is not under pressure to face free scoring Mufulira Wanderers in today’s Week 22 Super League fixture.

It is Super League weekend once again and top of the bill encounter today will be leaders Red Arrows at home to Mufulira Wanderers who are coming from a 5-0 win over Zanaco last weekend.

Yesterday, Mbewe said his side is not under any pressure.

“We are not under pressure, we know what we want and our focus is on the goals and targets for this season,” Mbewe said.

He reminded Wanderers that Arrows are not Zanaco.

“We are not Zanaco,. What will be different will be the approach to the game. It wont be an easy game but the boys are ready,” Mbewe said.

In other matches, Nkana are at home to Forest Rangers in a match they will be welcoming their fans back to the Stadium while Green Buffaloes face Konkola Blades at Edwin Imboela Stadium in Lusaka.

Zanaco will be looking to recover from the 5-0 loss to Wanderers when they face Napsa Stars while MUZA play Green Eagles in Mazabuka.

Kansanshi Dynamos take on Nkwazi.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 24th February, 2024)

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‘We could have beaten Zambia 4-1’ Ghana coach regrets missed chances

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GHANA coach Nora Hauptle has regretted her team’s 1 – 0 loss to Zambia saying the Black Queens should have beaten the Copper Queens 4-1 had they utilized their chances.

Rachael Kundananji scored the only goal of the game at the Accra Sports Stadium to give Zambia an advantage going into the second leg at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Wednesday.

Hauptle however feels her team was the better side and could have easily won the game by a comfortable margin had they not been goal shy.

“We had a pretty well start to the game, Ghana played well today [yesterday] they were showing that we were able to play good football. We missed a little bit deep play in the final third.

“In the second half we adapted, we thought we needed to bring in one more striker and it worked…we started to created chances, normally we should win this game 3-1, or 4-1 because chances were there,” Hauptle said.

She said her team’s performance was positive and they will build on it in the second leg.

Meanwhile, Copper Queens coach Bruce Mwape described the game as tough.

“It was a tough game, both teams were fighting for one thing. This is the first leg but we have the second leg in Zambia, we created sure chances in the first half but only managed to get as goal. The idea was to finish the game in the first half.

“Ghana gave us a tough time in the second half but we managed to contain them until the final whistle,” Mwape said.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 24th February, 2024)

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