STEPHEN PHIRI, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has implored the under-20 national team to remain focused, team-spirited and aim at getting goals in a bid to win the FIFA World Cup.
“Going by the good performance of the junior Chipolopolo in the Under-20 Africa Cup of
Nations which we hosted in March this year, l am confident they will perform very well at the FIFA World Cup.
“However, for them to achieve desired results, they have to remain focused, team-spirited and aim at getting goals. On behalf of the Zambian government, the people and on my own behalf, I wish the boys God’s blessings and strength as we look forward to them bringing glory to our country,” Lungu said.
In a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday by his special assistant for press and public relations, Amos Chanda, Lungu said the same zeal that the junior Chipolopolo exhibited to achieve best results during the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations should propel them to even perform better at the FIFA World Cup kicking off in South Korea today.
Zambia start the Group C campaign with a clash against two-time under-20 world champions Portugal.
Lungu is hopeful that the Beston Chambeshi-drilled side will put up a good fight at the World Cup to bring home even greater glory.
He wished the Solomon Sakala-captained team God’s blessings and strength as they face Portugal.
On the way to winning the Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations, Zambia overcame Guinea 1-0, walloped Mali 6-1 and whacked Egypt 3-1 to top Group A with nine points.
Zambia edged South Africa 1-0 in the semi-finals and thumped Senegal 2-0 in the final on March 12.
Meanwhile, under-20 national team coach Beston Chambeshi is targeting a win over Portugal, ROBINSON KUNDA reports.
Chambeshi said in an interview from Jeju, South Korea, yesterday that winning the first game will give the players confidence going forward.
“We are happy with the way the players are looking. They are looking sharp and we want to start on a good note against Portugal,” he said.
Chambeshi said the team has settled well in Jeju and the players know what is at stake.
“I am happy the players have acclimatised. I think everything is well; what we need to do is get positive results from the first game,” he said.
Zambia face Iran next Wednesday and wrap up the group stage against Costa Rica on March 27.