Zimbabwe: The Zambia Under-20 Men’s National Team walk onto the Cairo International Stadium turf this evening (Monday), knowing that anything less than victory may grind their campaign to a halt.
Coach Chisi Mbewe and his technical bench will be searching for their first victory at the tournament after having drawn 1-1 with Benin and lost 2-0 to the Gambia. Skipper Dominic Kanda will need to make his presence on the pitch more pronounced to keep his troops activated throughout the 90 minutes.
Zambia faces a Tunisian side that is winless and desperate for a victory to remain in the competition. Tunisia has had its voice heard off the pitch, having forced the change of the venue for Group C matches from Alexandria Stadium to Harras El Hodoud Stadium after they lost 1-0 to The Gambia.
They will be looking for their turning point after having gone two games without scoring a goal. Zambia’s goalkeeper Jeban Tembo will need to be at his best, with the central defensive partnership of Gift Mphande and Happy Nsiku expected to do better than in the two previous games. There could be a strong case for the possible shuffle that could give Onesimus Chipanga a run-in while Lombe Mutale and Amon Chulu from Power Dynamos and Nkana, respectively, could get the nod.
The hard work will be in the middle of the pack, with Kanda possibly being partnered with the likes of Chrales Majapa Peter Chikola and Emmanuel Mukosha, while Julius Kumwenda and Songa Chipyoka could have the creative options.
Upfront, Derrick Bulaya will have to shrug off competition from Kingstone Mutandwa, Rickson Ng’ambi and Henry Mbuti. Tunisia will be looking to Adem AGarreb, Youssef Snana and Ali Saoudi to open up the Zambian defence while their midfield general Ghaith Ouahabi will be key for their set-up.
Tunisia and Zambia both have one point and will be looking to outdo each other, knowing victory will provide a ticket to the quarterfinals. Kickoff is at 19:00 hours (Zambian Time), with the game lives on SuperSport and TopStar.