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Chilombo eyes semi-final

UNDER- 20 national team coach Hector Chilombo has set a semi-final target at the Africa Youth Championship in Senegal.
Chilombo said in Lusaka yesterday that the team’s first target is to reach the semi-finals and subsequently book a place at the World Youth Championship finals set for New Zealand.
“When we reach the semi-finals then we can start talking about bringing the cup home. For now we are working on ensuring that we qualify for the World Cup,” he said.
Chilombo said the opening match against Mali will define Zambia’s destiny at the two-week tournament kicking off on March 8 in Dakar.
“We played Mali in 2012 and they are the ones that eliminated us from the qualifiers. I know them well. They are huge and they are very physical but we will be ready for them,” he said.
Mali held Zambia to a 2-2 draw in Kitwe but won 3-0 in Bamako.
Chilombo said the technical bench is working on building confidence in the boys to ensure they are psychologically prepared for the tournament.
Meanwhile, Minister of Youth and Sport Vincent Mwale has implored the under-17 and under-20 national teams to redeem the Chipolopolo’s poor performance at the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.
Mwale said in Lusaka yesterday that the two junior teams have the potential to bring glory to the nation.
“We want both teams to reach the semi-finals so that they can qualify to their respective World Cups. That’s the minimum result we expect from both teams. We are fully behind them and praying for them. They are able to make us forget about Equatorial Guinea,” he said.
Mwale urged the under-17 national team to put behind the 0-1 loss to Guinea and focus on the remaining games.
He said the junior players are the future and urged them to play with passion and prove their worth.
“These are the players that will be considered for the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups. They should remember that they are the chosen ones and consider the opportunity as an honour. They should have passion representing the country,” Mwale said.