Empty Stands Takes Spotlight in Zambia, Ivory Coast Jubilee Draw
A near empty stadium at the jubilee friendly match characterised Zambia’s 1-all draw against Ivory Coast in an international friendly played Saturday at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Acting President Edgar Lungu made part of the crowd that was a quarter full. Striker Ronald Kampamba was on target for Zambia with the opener.
The Nkana striker put Zambia ahead in the 43rd minute beating keeper Gbohouo Sylvan with a low shot to send the home fans who included first President Kenneth Kaunda into celebrations.
Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza’s home squad failed to sustain the lead when Ivorian striker Quattara Ousmane levelled in the 54th minute beating Danny Munyao.
Zambia will have themselves to blame for not pinning Herve Renard’s side when defender Fackson Kapumbu’s penalty was saved in the 63rd minute.
Zambia Steps Up On FIFA Ranking
Zambia has made a notable rise on the FIFA/Coca Cola World rankings stepping up 10 places to occupy 78th on the global charts.
The Chipolopolo boys who have been fluctuating on the rankings now occupy 20th position on the continent of Africa.
Honour Janza’s charges beat Niger 3-0 on October, 15th in a Group F Africa Cup qualifier with the two sides drawing 1-all five days earlier.
Group F leaders Cape Verde have continued their fine run leaping to third position in Africa and 33rd in the world while third placed Mozambique also had some reason to be happy having moved to 26th in Africa and 97th in the world after moving 12 rungs up.
Niger has slipped 14 places down to stand on 36th in Africa and 121st in the world.
World champions Germany remains top of the table with Algeria surprisingly leading the African pack.
Mozambique Fixture Key to Zambia’s 2015 AfCON Ticket, says Renard
Former Chipolopolo coach Herve Renard says the match against Mozambique will be the key to Zambia’s qualification for the Morocco 2015 Africa Cup qualifier.
Renard told journalists on arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport yesterday that it will not be easy for interim coach Honour Janza to survive if Zambia fails to qualify to the next Africa Cup.
The former Chipolopolo trainer also said he could not completely rule out making a comeback to coach Zambia in future.
He said Zambia almost always found itself struggling to qualify but always managed to be at the Africa Cup.
“Honour was part of our staff he got a chance you know in football when you have got a chance you have to take it,” Renard said.
“He has the quality now, you judge a coach about the result unfortunately sometimes it is difficult, sometimes I think for Zambia it is almost the same a lot of players stop their international career or not anymore in the national team so you always need a period to have (build) the same strong team.”
He added: “So let him use the time before the remaining two games to prepare the qualification because it is always difficult when you do not qualify the most important thing is to qualify and I hope we meet in Morocco in 2015.”
The 2012 Africa Cup winning coach said it had been difficult to settle in Ivory Coast after having been appointed in the post World Cup chaos that saw some big stars led by the talismanic Didier Drogba quit international football.
On a possible future Chipolopolo return, “I will always come back as a citizen after all in football we never know what comes everything is possible.”
Renard quit the Zambia job after a disastrous 2013 Africa Cup title defence that ended in a first round elimination to take up a job as French Ligue1 coach Sochaux in the final stretch of the season with the team eventually demoted.
He took over the Ivory Coast job in August and roped in Beaumelle who left the Zambia job he had taken over from his compatriot.
Renard at Home With Ivorians Facing Zambia
The Ivory Coast national team comprising local players this afternoon arrived in the country ahead of Saturday’s international friendly.
Herve Renard’s team arrived around 16:00 hours at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport with the presence of the former Chipolopolo coach and his assistant Patrice Beaumelle fervently greeted by hordes of by-standers and travelers who were within the airport premises.
Renard and Beaumelle were every bit at home with everything around them as their bewildered travelling party was shepherded to the bus while the former Chipolopolo coaches delighted in their moment in the sunshine.
Ivory Coast has travelled with 13 Under-20 players and five Sewe Sports players that Zambian fans may remember from the CAF Confederation Cup games against Nkana.
The 2012 Africa Cup finalists will face each other on Saturday at the Heroes Stadium as part of the jubilee celebrations.
Renard will be part of the contingent that will honoured by the state on account of the 2012 Africa Cup winning feat.
Elephants Game Finally Set for Heroes…as Ivory Coast Expected
Herve Renard’s Ivory Coast team are expected in the country ahead of Saturday’s international friendly that will have both sides field local players.
And the Ministry of Sports and FAZ seem to have finally settled for Heroes Stadium after having bullied each other over the venue for the international match.
FAZ has finally announced that the match will be at Heroes Stadium with VIP tickets pegged at K300 while the rest will pay K50 all round.
The confusion preceding the match venue had been such that the National Sports Council of Zambia had issued a directive that the facility was unavailable for Saturday’s match.
“The National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) wishes to inform its affiliates that the National Heroes Stadium has been completed but is yet to be officially commissioned,” stated a circular from the NSCZ.
Currently the stadium is only being used for testing purposes and it is within this testing period that the remaining gaps will be addressed. However the government of the republic of Zambia will only be able to address certain gaps such as furniture and equipment in the 2015 budget.”
It read further: You are therefore being advised that the National Heroes Stadium is currently not available for staging of any sporting event until further notice. Staging of any such sporting activities should therefore be at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium or any other facility appropriate for the event.”
However, the match will now go ahead in Lusaka.
Renard’s elephants will jet in at 15:00 hours ahead of the match.
It will be the first time the two sides will be meeting since February 14, 2012 2hen Zambia beat Didier Drogba’s Ivory Coast 9-8 in a dramatic penalty shoot out to lift the Africa Cup.
Fwayo Tembo, Boyd Mkandawire out of Ivory Coast friendly
The Chipolopolo boys are back in training ahead of Saturday’s international friendly against Ivory Coast in Ndola.
Coach Honour Janza has all but two players called to camp with clubless Fwayo Tembo reportedly away in Tanzania on a club hunt mission while Under-20 defender Boyd Mkandawire is out injured.
The rest of the team worked while four players who are nursing knocks from the weekend games had a light work out on the sidelines of the full session.
A check by the bolazambia.com crew found the Nkana duo of Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba, Donashano Malama their Zesco United counterpart Nyambe Mulenga and Power Dynamos’ Richard Kasonde led by team physiotherapist Davies Mulenga.
The game was due to be played in Lusaka but seems to have been caught up in mazy of independence and fixture complexities that will see titanic local action pitting heavies in Zesco United against Zanaco with a Power Dynamos-Nkana clash on the cards.
Some players will be expected to join their clubs immediately after featuring for the national team on Saturday against Herve Renard’s Ivory Coast.
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.