The Zambia U23 Men’s National Team qualified to the third round of the 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations qualifiers. This was after beating Malawi 1 – 0 at the National Heroes Stadium.
The ZamFoot Crew looks at how the players performed.
Mangani Banda 6/10 – Had little to do, but when called to action he did very well. He was always on hand to aid the defense by giving the option for the pass back to him.
Shemmy Mayembe 5/10 – He was solid when the game started but seemed to lose concentration as the game wore on. Carelessly lost the ball in dangerous areas but was very good when he overlapped with pace.
Kempson Kamanga 8/10 – What a performance from the lad. He did not let anything pass on his side and was very good supporting the attack.
Moses Nyondo 8/10 – Steady defending from the Nkana central defender. He never seemed rushed and was always in charge. He was very good with starting play from behind.
Solomon Sakala 7/10 – Captain of the side. He played as the sweeper mopping up for Nyondo in a game the two complemented well.
Boyd Musonda 6/10 – He had a good first half. Breaking down the opposition attacks in the defensive midfield position and overlapping from his defensive position to support attack. He looked very dangerous everytime he went forward but fizzled out in the second half.
Emmanuel Banda 7/10 – He was in ad out of the game. When he had the ball, he did well with it, but didn’t seem willing to ‘chase’ when the team was under attack. However, when he was deployed in the defensive midfield position after the substitution of Boyd Musonda, he showed he defensive side and covered well.
Harrison Chisala 6/10 – A very intelligent diminutive player. Deployed in an unfamiliar wide right position, he saw a lot of the ball in the first half and had a couple of chances to put his name on the score sheet but he lacked the calmness to take the chances. He was giving the full backs a good run.
Enock Mwepu 9/10 – Easily the man of the match. He stood tall in midfield and gave everything, gave the team that ‘wow’ factor. He got the fans off their feet when he dribbled his way out of a tight spot in midfield beating three markers to release Fashion Sakala. He provided the assist for the goal and he could have been on the score-sheet but for the brilliance of Munthali in the Malawi goal.
Patson Daka 7/10 – He held the ball well in the final third and brought his team into play. He looked more dangerous when he attacked through the wide areas with pace as the Malawians where failing to contend with his speed and power. He often dropped deep to aid the midfielders or defense. He pulled out a great save from Munthali who denied him at full stretch in the 88th minute when he parried a cracker from outside the box.
Fashion Sakala 8/10 – He scored the goal in the game. Very confident and always looking to take on his marker. Could have had more as he missed two to three chances or even created for his strike partners but his decision making at times can leave one frustrated.
Kingsley Kangwa 7/10 – He came on for Harrison Chisala in the 60th minute. He changed the complexion of the game as he was always looking for the good run and getting a good pass forward. Very good ball skills. He was denied an assist after he found Fashion Sakala with a cross from the right which the KV Oostende striker finished off but was ruled offside in the 64th minute.
Lameck Banda 6/10 – Came on for Boyd Musonda in the 75th minute. Explosive winger he is. Very direct approach but they defenders were failing to stop him because of his pace. However, even when it was easier to just lay the ball for a colleague to finish in the box, he was always trying to do the harder thing. A little better judgement lacked.
Prince Mumba – Came on for Patson Daka in the 88th minute. (Not rated)
Coach Rating 7/10
He made one change to the team and it helped as the team looked better coordinated in attack as compared to the 1st leg played in Malawi. He didn’t not bow to the pressure when fans called for the substitution of Chisala and once he played the subs, they all had a positive effect on the game. At U23, their should be no excuse for the team’s failure to take the chances especially the poor decision making in the final third and he should get that through to his players.