ROBINSON KUNDA, Lusaka
FOOTBALL icon Kalusha Bwalya says the under-20 national team has the ability to score a goal or two in each match at the FIFA South Korea World Cup kicking off tomorrow.
And the junior Chipolopolo yesterday held their first training in Jeju.
Kalusha said in an interview from Johannesburg yesterday that the players have what it takes to score in every match.
Kalusha, who made a name at the 1988 Olympics in South Korea where he scored six goals as Zambia reached the quarter-finals, said the under-20 could go far at the tournament.
“From the footballing view, the players are champions of Africa which they did with style and splendour. The team is strong at the back, industrious in midfield and has a very sharp front line,” he said.
The 1988 African-footballer-of-the-year said the key to Zambia’s success will be to manage the flow of the match in every game.
He said the boys should not worry about having possession but to play to their strength.
“The coach Beston Chambeshi was there in South Korea in1988. Take it a day at a time, game at a time, everyone pulling together is half job,” said Kalusha, who scored a hat-trick in the 4-0 bashing of Italy at the Olympics.
And Football Association of Zambia communications manager Desmond Katongo said Chambeshi took the boys for training at Kang Chang Hak Stadium.
Zambia begin the campaign against Portugal on Sunday and face Iran and Costa Rica in other Group C matches.
The junior Chipolopolo are accommodated at Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Meanwhile, Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo has called on the nation to rally behind the under-20 national team.
Makembo said with the 12th player – fans – in the terraces, the team could bring honour to Zambia.
“The under-20 team did it during the Africa Cup of Nations with the support of Zambians and they could do the same at the World Cup with the support. Those fans who are able to travel to South Korea should do so, so that the team could be motivated,” he said.
Makembo said he has organised several Zambian students in South Korea to support the team during matches.