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Zesco should prove themselves

Soccer review with STEPHEN PHIRI
ALL ears were yesterday focused to Cairo as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) were conducting group stage draws for the Champions League and Confederation Cup.
This is because our very own club, Zesco United, did this country proud by qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League.
Since ousting Malian club Stade Malien, Zesco have been clearing the backlog in the league as they awaited the draws, which were conducted in the Egyptian capital yesterday.
The verdict: Zesco were paired with North African giants Al Ahly of Egypt, Moroccan outfit Wydad Casablanca and Asec Mimosa of Ivory Coast in Group A.
Zambia has no representation in the Confederation Cup after Zanaco were eliminated.
Over the years, Arabs have given Zambian teams headache be at national or club level.
Zesco, who have not done well in the league lately, need to work extra hard to reach the semi-finals.
Zesco played Al Ahly then lining up midfield genius Mohammed Aboutrika in the 2011 CAF Champions League second round and the Egyptians won 1-0 on aggregate.
Al Ahly struggled over two legs but managed a 1-0 win in Cairo and Zesco have an idea of how the Arabs play.
The North African domination should be halted and the secret is to win all the home matches.
Zesco should avoid drawing at home if they are to cruise to the semi-finals of the competition.
If Zesco win all the three home matches, they are assured of nine points and draw all the away matches, then qualification for the semi-finals is guaranteed.
The players should believe in themselves that they can beat Al Ahly or Wydad Casablanca, including Asec Mimosa.
The 3-1 win over Stade Malien of Mali in the CAF Champions League second round first leg in Bamako should inspire the players to believe that victory can be attained anywhere.
The matches will be watched all over Africa courtesy of SuperSport. The likes of Idris Mbombo and Jesse Were have an opportunity to break either into Europe or big-spending leagues in North Africa if they take it personal against their opponents in the group stage.
For players who are yet to be given an opportunity to play for the Chipolopolo, this is a perfect opportunity to showcase their talent to the rest of Africa.
With determination, nothing is impossible.
Since Nkana’s passage to the 1989 Africa Club Champion of Champions final, no Zambian team has managed that feat.
Nkana lost 5-4 on penalties to Algerian side JS Kabylie after drawing 1-1 on aggregate.
I have confidence in Zesco that they could go all the way and lift the Champions League trophy in November.
Time is ripe for a Zambian club to conquer the continent after the Chipolopolo won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012.
All the best to Zesco and let us interact on phiristeve4@,