Zambia U23 national football team will on Saturday night open their 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations when they face rivals South Africa in a Group B match to be played at Al Salaam stadium in Cairo with a Kick-off time at 20:00.
Head coach Beston Chambeshi has declared his side ready for the tournament in which top three finishers will represent the continent at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.
Young Chipolopolo on Thursday warmed-up with a 4-2 win over Egyptian club El Nasr in a training game played in Cairo.
“We now have an insight of the foreign players who have come in, and in terms of fitness, they are all OK. But what we wanted to see were the combinations and we are happy with their attitude and performance and they are all hungry to play,” Chambeshi said.
“All that we need to do now is to push them so that they can come in strong and make this team tick.
And the overseas-based players didn’t disappoint as Chambeshi grapples with the absence of three European-based players namely Enock Mwepu,Patson Daka, of Austrian champions RB Salzburg, and Fashion Sakala, from KV Oostende in Belgium, who will miss the South Africa game due to league obligations at their respective clubs this weekend.
Midfielder Kings Kangwa of Arsenal Tula in Russia scored a brace in that friendly while Belgium-based midfielder Emmanuel Banda and Edward Chilufya from Swedish club Djurgardens scored a goal each.
“I am happy with the score line because we played a team that was well organized and me happy especially in attack where we have scored four goals,” Chambeshi said.