Chilombo looking beyond Senegal

From HONE SIAME in Blantyre, Malawi
ZAMBIA under-20 national team coach Hector Chilombo is looking beyond the 2015 Senegal Africa Youth Championship finals.
In an interview after his team beat Malawi 2-1 in Saturday’s Africa Youth Championship final round, first leg at Kamuzu Stadium, Chilombo is targeting guiding Zambia to the 2015 New Zealand FIFA World Youth Championship finals.
The Napsa Stars mentor said his team will prepare adequately for the return leg set for Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium on August 30.
He said the technical bench is aware of Malawi’s good away record and will approach the match with seriousness.
Malawi beat Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 in Kinshasa after the teams drew 1-1 in Blantyre.
Chilombo blamed South African referee Lwandile Mfiki for awarding Malawi what he termed ‘a soft’ penalty.
Zambia defender Boyd Mkandawire hacked goal bound Enerst Tambe and Mfiki awarded a penalty which Chawanangwa Kaonga converted.
“We are determined to qualify to the Africa Youth Championship finals and from there qualify for the World Cup. We will not relax after this win because we are aware that Malawi play well away,” Chilombo said.
Zambia’s last appearance at the Africa Youth Championship finals was in 2007 when the then George Lwandamina-tutored side finished fourth in Congo Brazzaville to qualify for the World Youth Championship held in Canada in the same year.
In Canada, the Zambians were eliminated in the second round after losing 1-2 to Nigeria.
And Malawi coach Enerst Mtawali said his team has a mountain to climb to qualify for the Africa Youth Championship finals.
Mtawali, however, put up a brave face saying the junior Flames are not out of the race to Senegal.
“We have a mountain to climb but nothing is impossible. We will go to Zambia to fight to ensure we get two goals,” he said.
Mtawali said his charges lack confidence when playing at home.
“We don’t play well at home because our players don’t believe in themselves. It will be a different game in Zambia,” Mtawali said.
National team coach Honour Janza , who watched the match in Blantyre, commended the junior Chipolopolo for the victory.
“It is encouraging to see young players putting up such good performance. They are able to play to instructions at their age and have great determination. Malawi were not an easy team to beat,” Janza said.
Meanwhile, the Zambia High Commision in Malawi has urged the under-20 national team players not to be complacent.
The mission’s defence advisor Muteto Mazeko said the team should be wary of Malawi’s good away record in the qualifiers.
Mazeko, a former Red Arrows Football Club chairman, said this when he addressed players at Malawi Sun Hotel on Saturday.
He said Malawi will not be an easy nut to crack in the return leg set for August 30 in Lusaka.
And delegation leader Jeff Chipilingu was elated with the victory.
Chipilingu, who is Football Association of Zambia executive committee member, said his executive will work closely with the technical bench to ensure the junior Chipolopolo qualify for the Senegal finals.
To reach this far, Zambia trounced Mozambique 4-0 on aggregate while Malawi thumped Democratic Republic of Congo 3-1 over two legs.

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