2013 Africa Cup of Nations Team Profile: Zambia

ZAMBIA soccer players

ZAMBIA soccer players (from left) Collins Mbesuma, Chintu Kampamba, Jacob Mulenga, Joseph Musonda and Rainford Kalaba (standing) share a light moment at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola yesterday before the squad left for the Orange 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa. Picture by FELIX MALUNGA

Having won the 2012 AFCON title against all odds, goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene said Zambia was now a team to beat and that the squad would be ready to face the new challenges in South Africa.

Here is the profile of the Chipolopolo of Zambia.

AFCON HISTORY

 

Best Performance
Winners – 2012
Champions
2012
Runners-Up
1994
Third Place
1990
Fourth Place
None

 

HOW THEY QUALIFIED

Zambia qualified in dramatic circumstances. They faced Uganda in the second round of qualification and took a 1-0 lead into the second leg of the tie. Uganda brought the tie back to level terms, determined to keep the 2012 champions fighting to the bitter end. However, Zambia rallied, showing the team spirit which had won the tournament in Equatorial Guinea. Zambia eventually gained entrance to the 2013 African Cup of Nations after winning a breath-taking penalty shootout 9-8 in Kampala.

THE COACH | HERVE RENARD

Africa Cup of Nations

Herve Renard has been Zambia’s head coach for two separate spells, between 2008-2010 and from October 2011 until now. The former Stade de Vallauris defender enjoyed a long career playing in France and brought his immense experience as a footballer into management. Renard is a hard taskmaster who puts the team ahead of the individual, always expecting one hundred per cent from every one of his players.

Renard has taken Zambia to three Afcon tournaments and his ability to create success out of team work, team spirit and a never-say-die attitude has made him a popular figure in Zambian football circles. He credits his mentor, current DR Congo coach Claude Le Roy for his knowledge about the African game.

THE CAPTAIN | CHRISTOPHER KATONGO

Africa Cup of Nations

Christopher Katongo is the definition of an inspirational captain. During the 2012 Nations Cup he rallied his troops against the odds, defeating tournament favourites Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to claim one of the most dramatic underdog victories in recent footballing history. Katongo is a work-horse in the midfield and relies more on his instincts and determination than pure skill.

Katongo has a great deal of playing experience in South Africa for his former club Jomo Cosmos and will be in familiar surroundings during the 2013 campaign. He has also played in Germany, Denmark and Greece underlining his immense experience. He scored three vital goals in the 2012 Afcon campaign, including a priceless winner against Ghana in the semi-finals.

THE STAR PLAYER | EMMANUEL MAYUKA

Africa Cup of Nations

The 21-year-old was named the top goal scorer at the 2012 edition of the Afcon and he has continued to play well for the Chipolopolo since his excellent campaign in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. His goal tally with the national side has reached double digits. The striker possesses a variety of exceptional skills and his age works in his favour.

Mayuka was a dominant force in the Swiss League for BSC Young Boys, scoring 32 goals in 55 appearances for the club. He now plays for English Premier League side Southampton, making the move to the Saints in August 2012. He will hope to display his talents in South Africa.

THE EMERGING TALENT | EMMANUEL MBOLA

Africa Cup of Nations

The 19-year-old left-back emerged onto the international scene in 2008 and is considered as one of the greatest talents in Zambian and possibly African football. He has already made 29 appearances for the national side and is set to continue his impressive run for Chipopolo at the Afcon.

The TP Mazembe full-back secured a loan move to Portuguese club Porto at the beginning of this season, where he will hope to develop his game at one of the most well-known clubs in Europe. The Afcon could provide him with the confidence he needs to return to club duty with determination.

PROBABLE LINEUP

Africa Cup of Nations

(4-3-3)
Mweene
Mbola, Musonda, Mulenga, Katebe
Chansa, Kalaba, Katongo
Mayuka, Chamanga, Lungu

Goal.com

Leave a Reply