IT’S swim or drown for Beston Chambeshi’s U-23 national team as they carry a slender lead going into today’s final qualifying leg against Congo Brazzaville.
Zambia won 2-1 on Wednesday night in Lusaka to set up a nervy final leg which will determine who qualifies for the AfCON finals to be staged in Egypt in November.
“It will be a tough game, we just have to believe in ourselves and work as a team. We have a team that can bring glory and as a technical team we have to make sure that the boys are in good shape,” said Chambeshi ahead of the game.
Any draw, scoreless or scoring will take Chambeshi’s boys through to the AfCON from which the top three teams will qualify to the Tokyo Olympics.
Chambeshi has hinted at making changes to the team set up that could see Zambia apply a cautious defensive approach and launch counterattacks from deep as the Congolese are expected to employ an open-attacking game to get that much needed early goal.
That being the case, Chambeshi may congest the midfield by playing both Emmanuel Banda, Ngosa Sunzu and Enock Mwepu while relying on the speed of Patson Daka, Fashion Sakala, and Lameck Banda who was unused in the first leg.
Meanwhile captain of the side Solomon Sakala said: “the first game is history, this is a different game and we have to give it all the strength. It will be a tough match but we are ready.”
Zambia last played at the Olympics 31 years ago in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea where they reached the quarter finals under the tutelage of late great Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu.
That year, celebrated Zambian captain Kalusha Bwalya’s heroics earned him the Africa Footballer of the year accolade.