Zambia: The Zambia under-20 boys will be looking to put their shaky start behind them when they take on The Gambia in their second Group C match at the ongoing TotalEnergies AFCON in Egypt.
Having drawn the first match with Benin on Tuesday, coach Chisi Mbewe will be searching for maximum points to put his side in a strong position for qualification to the quarterfinal. Today’s Group C matches have had some off-the-pitch turbulences after CAF announced a surprise change of venue following a complaint by one of the losing sides about the state of the Alexandria International Stadium pitch.
Additionally, the Group C matches will be played behind closed doors. The games have been moved to Haras El Hodoud Stadium within Alexandria. On the pitch, skipper Dominic Kanda will be expected to impose command on his troops, with Jaban Tembo expected to start between the sticks.
At the back, the commanding presence of Gift Mphande and Happy Nsiku will be expected to mount a rock-solid block supported by possibly Lombe Mutale and Amon Chulu. Others knocking on the door are Mathews Banda, Lackson Tembo and Onesimus Chipango.
A lot more will be expected from the creative band of Charlse Majapa, Songa Chipyoka, Peter Chikola and Julius Kumwenda. Fit-again Lasmond Phiri and Emmanuel Mukosha, who brought some spark when he came on from the bench in the first match, may be handed a starting role.
The imposing presence of Derrick Bulaya, Kimgstone Mutandwa and goal scorer Rickson Ng’ambi will be in line for selection upfront.
On the other side, table-topping Gambia is high on confidence, with the striker Kajally Drammeh, Adama Bojang and Alieu Gibba providing some goal threat for the West Africans. Skipper Alagie Saone was the soul of the defence against Tunisia in their opening match.
A win for The Gambia will automatically qualify them for the quarterfinals, while Zambia needs the three points to be in good stead for a last eight spot. Kickoff for the match today (Friday) is 19:00 hours CAT (Zambian time), with Supersport and TopStar beaming the match live.