Morocco Withdraws From Hosting 2015 AfCON
The Confederation of African Football is shopping for a new host for the 2015 Africa Cup after Morocco withdrew from hosting next year’s event over Ebola fears.
Morocco had written to CAF asking them to consider postponing the event to 2016 until there is an all clear on the fast spreading Ebola that has hit some West African countries.
CAF has currently gone in overdrive searching for a new host and has so far reportedly approached Ghana and South Africa as possible fall backs.
Morocco had also offered to host the 2017 event.
Niger Win Grants Janza ‘Temporary’ Respite
Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza said he was relieved with his side’s 3 – 0 win over Niger on Wednesday in the Morocco 2015 Africa Cup.
A relived Janza told a media briefing after the match the win had a lot of intrinsic motivations to the players after going for three matches without a win in competitive fixtures.
“We thank the Zambian people for the support and patience to wait for us in the competition to get a win. We will stay focused and fight it is not easy,” he said.
“It is very obvious we are relieved to get a win. I think the players are motivated I think they have the belief. It motivates them when they win and they look forward to replicate the performance.”
He said, “I think this win has a lot of intrinsic motivation in the players.”
He defended his decision to start Under-20 star Charles Zulu who was handed the iconic jersey 11.
“On Charles Zulu, in football I think there is no gambling only when you play aka red naka black,” he said.
“We have trained been with them in local camp and under 20. There is a process you will be seeing them one by one. There is a process everything that we do, it is not gambling.”
Janza recorded his first competitive win on Wednesday easing pressure on him after some fans had started calling for his sacking.
Zambia moved to second place in Group F on five points with Cape Verde reaping nine points and virtually qualifying to next year’s Africa Cup with two games to spare after beating Mozambique 2-1.
Zambia (3) v Niger (0) Player Ratings
It was very clear that prior to the game against Niger there could not have been peace at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium given the string of disappointing results the team has been posting in the race for Morocco 2015.
Coach Honour Janza knew he had to pitch up with the goods or lose the support of an entire population and a rejuvenated second half display seemed to have at least bought him time to save not only the campaign but probably his job.
Below is how bolazambia.com rated the team:
Kennedy Mweene: Hardly had a lot to do but reminded everyone of the good old days when the Chipolopolo had everyone on their side with his neat penalty finish. He will definitely get full marks for his calm finish. 8.0
Emmanuel Mbola: went a notch higher to redeem his place in the starting XI that has been brought to question in the recent past by his wayward crosses. He kept his man at bay but in the first half was guilty of being over confident drifting upfront where they were crowding right wing with Bruce Musakanya and at times Given Singuluma. Overall his was a decent shift: 6.0
Donashano Malama: while his wingback slot was hardly the most bombarded few could have missed a certain Kabaso Chongo he replaced as he held on his position good enough not to be called to duty. 7.0.
Nyambe Mulenga: has settled well in the two games he has been thrown in the pressure cooker and seems to have been struck a working partnership with Stoppilla Sunzu as dictated by circumstances. 7.0
Sunzu: hardly the loudest in barking orders but he lets the football do the talking and may be happy with having been the leader on the day Zambia recorded an emphatic win in the qualifiers. His slow recovery in the first after heading over may have been one unworthy of a commander but overall his led his charges to a clean sheet. 7.0
Nathan Sinkala: by his lofty standards was not exactly imposing on the game. He also was way too happy to sit too near the centre backs not taking the game to the opponents with his set piece conversion ratio remaining miserably unimpressive despite being the team’s second choice taker. 6.0
Rainford Kalaba: his opening goal on the day may serve to absolve some of his poor set pieces but remains the heartbeat of the Zambian team. Occasionally his desire to perform works faster than his feet. However overall he remained an ever present figure in the attack by the Zambian team. 7.0
Given Singuluma: toiled hard all over the pitch but may have suffered from being placed deeper than a central striking role in the first half. Will be happy to have won Zambia the penalty that Kennedy Mweene converted. 7.0
Bruce Musakanya: for a man showing signs of rusty from his lengthy injury Musakanya seemed a dubious choice for a starting place despite his backers putting up a strong case. Few could have qualms with his return to fitness although he limped off as an injury substitute but any coach will be worried with his tendency to overdo his dribbling. 6.0
Emmanuel Mayuka: turned up for Zambia literally in a long time and was a handful for the Nigeriens and capped his fine performance with a goal that may have been an easy tap in but the zeal with which he thundered it in testifies to a hunger to justify the coach’s faith. 9.0
Charles Zulu: The Under-20 player found the iconic jersey 11 a tad too heavy and may not have matured enough for the booing that ensued from occasional errors he made. He is definitely a prospect for the not too distant future but on the evidence of how he buckled under pressure he may have to wait a little longer. 5.0
Chisamba Lungu: he will look back to his 81st minute miss as a lost moment to be on the scoreshet when his effort was directly aimed at Dauda Kassaly in the Niger goal. Overall he settled quickly in the game after coming on for Zulu in the 35th minute. 6.0
Fwayo Tembo: his first touch on the ball lingers longest when he held on to the ball too long to lose possession. Did not make an impact in the game that many could have hoped for. 5.0
Jacob Mulenga: A surprise omission in the starting line up his critics may point to his holding on to the ball for too long when passing it could have proved the easier option. 5.0
Honour Janza: Hard to deny him marks on a day he got his first full points in a competitive game. the ease with which he buckled to pressure to withdraw Zulu who admittedly was an unforced error on the team points to yards yet to be gained terms of decidedness. His leaving out Kabaso Chongo and replacing him with Malama pointed to a step towards righting some wrongs in the team’s set up. 6.0
Chipolopolo finally Honour Janza
Zambia finally got its first three points in the race for the Morocco 2015 Africa Cup to ease the pressure on coach Honour Janza who recorded his first competitive win as Chipolopolo coach.
Since taking over in August Zambia had drawn with Mozambique, lost to Cape Verde, drawn with Niger before beating Niger today.
The pressure around the team had been piling after the team had only managed a point in three games with calls for the coach’s head getting louder as games wore on.
With Cape Verde beating Mozambique 1-0 at home in Praia Zambia moved to second position on the log on five points thanks to a better goal difference.
Rainford Kalaba opened the floodgates in the 57th minute after a goalless first half that saw youngster Charles Zulu who had started ahead of Chisamba Lungu withdrawn as he wore the iconic jersey 11 for Lungu in the 35th minute.
The goal seemed to reinvigorate Zambia who had been under pressure not from their opponents but the crowd.
And it was not a surprise that Emmanuel Mayuka who had not scored since August 15 in 2012 in a friendly against South Korea that Zambia lost 2-1 tapped home in the 73rd minute from a Lungu assist.
The crowd finally seemed to have been persuaded to follow through with the team with the technical bench throwing in Fwayo Tembo and Jacob Mulenga came in for Bruce Musakanya in 75th minute.
Zambia continued piling pressure and it was not a surprise Given Singuluma was brought down by Souley Mahamadou and Kennedy Mweene bravely took the long walk to the other end of the goal to score from the resultant penalty.
The win takes Zambia to four points with Cape Verde and Niger still in action.
Can Chipolopolo overcome Niger to Save Janza’s Honour?
Zambia today face Niger having to save a faltering campaign and possibly coach Honour Janza’s job in the race for the Morocco 2015 Africa Cup.
The Chipolopolo are winless in three Africa Cup fixtures and will know that anything short of victory will spell doom for the team.
Levy Mwanawasa stadium is not expected to be its usual boisterous setting as the crowds have thinned out as the results have slid down.
Zambia will also have to put aside their pre-match problems that has seen skipper Christopher Katongo ejected from camp after a fall out with Janza.
Katongo has not taken kindly to being handed back roles in the qualifiers and let out his frustrations in the aftermath of the 0-all away draw to Niger on Saturday.
Janza will know that anything short of victory will mark the final nail in his reign and probably close the debate for having a local coach take over the Chipolopolo in the foreseeable future.
Zambia stands in third position on two points after three games and trail leaders Cape Verde by four points.
It is unclear if Janza will continue shuffling his team set up although the absence of Katongo could free up some space for Nkana striker Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba who has been on the fringes of senior team action.
However, Turkey based Jacob Mulenga will be favoured to lead the lines upfront where he could be joined by Given Singuluma and the youthful Charles Zulu.
The return of Stoppilla Sunzu who missed out on the first leg due to a bereavement after he lost his sister will add stability at the heart of defence where Nyambe Mulenga who impressed in the first leg will be a sure starter.
Janza may return faith in his two wingbacks although few would be rooting for Kabaso Chongo given his theatrics in Niamey where his hairdo may have left a stronger impression than his football contribution.
The game kicks off at 18:00 hours at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Niger Jet In For Chipolopolo Clash
Zambia’s opponents in Wednesday’s Africa Cup qualifier Niger has arrived in the country for the Morocco 2015 encounter.
Niger arrived in the country on a 14:45 hours Ethiopian Airlines flight and headed straight to Moba Hotel in Kitwe where they are lodged.
Zambia will face Niger on Wednesday in a Group F qualifier at the Levy Mwanawasa stadium.
Meanwhile the Chipolopolo boys have opted to have evening training sessions to suit the time the team will play on Wednesday.
Team manager Lusekelo Kamwambi said that the team will have two sessions before playing Niger.
The two sides will be fighting to strengthen their chances of making it to next’s year’s Africa Cup with two more rounds of games to play.
Defiant Janza Insists Chipolopolo will qualify
Under fire Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza has remained defiant amidst growing calls for his head by insisting Zambia will be in Morocco next year.
Meanwhile the Chipolopolo boys have returned in the country and headed straight to the Copperbelt to start preparations for Wednesday’s must win encounter against Niger at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Janza whose blunt bullets yesterday went for the third straight match without a win in competitive fixtures under him said that his lads will qualify if they give over 100 percent in the remaining three fixtures.
Zambia stands in third position on two points after three matches and will face Niger at home in Ndola on Wednesday after being held to a goalless draw on Saturday.
The Chipolopolo drew 0-all with Mozambique in the Group F opener before being beaten 2-1 by Cape Verde away in Praia.
Sensing a stuttering campaign FAZ has reached for panic buttons and brought in a Dutchman Nico Labohm to help Janza.
“We are still in the contention because we still have nine points to go for. We just have to maximize the last three games,” he said.
“We have to fight not just at the certain level but to go beyond 100 per cent. You go 100 per cent you don’t stay.
Don’t get satisfied keep going. We needed to go 120 per cent for us to win the game.”
He reserved some respect for his adversaries who he said were a good team.
“Niger is not an easy team; it is a good team, but of course the stage at which we are we were expected to get three points. Getting one point from here is not bad,” said Janza.
Zambia still has to travel to Maputo next month before closing with a home fixture against Cape Verde.
Niger Hold Chipolopolo
Zambia’s hopes of making it to the Morocco 2015 Africa Cup have slipped further after being held to a goalless draw by winless Niger away in Niamey.
The Chipolopolo boys remain rooted in third position on an afternoon second placed Mozambique recorded a 2-0 home win over Group F leaders Cape Verde who have six points.
Niger staved off the challenge from a heavily shuffled Zambia that saw Under-20 and Zanaco player Charles Zulu make the starting lineup.
The result means coach Honour Janza is winless in competitive games since taking over the Chipolopolo job in August.
Janza shuffled his side starting lineup that had James Chamanga at the tip of the attack with Given Singuluma and Zulu as support strikers.
He left out Jacob Mulenga, skipper Christopher Katongo and Emmanuel Mayuka on the bench in what looked like cashing on the desire to impress.
Nathan Sinkala was handed the armband as he was one of the six Africa Cup winners in the starting 11.
Zambia started the more aggressive of the two sides and Chamanga could have put Zambia ahead in the 14th minute when he was put through by Zulu but he fluffed his chance.
The two sides continued sizing each other but went to the half time beak tied at 0-all.
Zambia continued pressing and Singuluma was unlucky in the 58th minute when his effort cannoned off the post but he instead opted to hold his head instead of following up the rebound.
A minute later a wayward Christopher Munthali back pass caught Mweene off guard but he recovered early to sweep it away.
Janza was done with experiments and brought on Emmanuel Mayuka for Zulu and followed up that substitution with Katongo coming in Chisamba Lungu.
With the game looking headed for a goalless draw Janza threw in Jacob Mulenga for Chamanga but all the efforts were in vain.
Zambia will host Niger on Wednesday in Ndola in an 18:00 hours kickoff and anything short of victory will throw the campaign in jeopardy.
Redemption Moment: Zambia Seek to Bounce Back in Niger
Zambia make their first visit to Niger this weekend in search of their first victory in the 2015 Africa Cup Group F qualifiers.
The two sides debut meeting on Saturday in Niamey could make or break either side as the battle to qualify for the Morocco finals reaches the midway point.
Zambia and Niger are tied on one point each in third and bottom respectively and are five points behind fired-up Cape Verde who beat both side’s in their opening two Group F qualifying games.
Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza has appeared calm despite the pressure on him with worries that Zambia might miss the Africa Cup tournament for the first time in eleven years.
Zambia kicked off their qualifiers with a poor 0-0 home draw with Mozambique on September 6 in Ndola.
They fall 2-1 away to Cape Verde on September 10 in a modest display compounded by poor travel plans to Praia that saw them arrive twelve hours before the match.
“It (Zambia) has always been a good team. We have not lost with our pants down,” Janza said.
“We just have to amend for where we went wrong. It is tournament, we have four more games and we can win four games just like any other team.
“We have the players who can deliver.”
Janza, though, will be missing star defender Stopilla Sunzu who pulled out of the team on Thursday following the death of his sister.
Janny Sikazwe in North African Job
Top Zambian referee Jan Sikazwe will be at the centre of the high temperature Africa Cup qualifier pitting the Super Eagles of Nigeria against Sudan in Khartoum.
Sikazwe whose star has been on the rise in the last few years will be joined by compatriots Stanley Hachiwa and Bruno Tembo.
The trio left for Khartoum on a midday flight on Thursday.
Nigeria has had a stuttering start to their Morocco 2015 campaign picking only one point from top games with their reputation as African champions on the line.
Stephen Keshi’s Eagles lost to Congo at home and got a point off group leaders South Africa.
The FIFA referee has a wealth of experience that has seen him officiate in World Cup qualifiers and Africa Cup tournaments including a third and fourth play off at the South Africa 2013 tournament.