Football Sport

Good preps key for World Cup success – Chambeshi


UNDER-20 national team coach Beston Chambeshi says good preparations will be key to Zambia’s success at the FIFA South Korea World Cup slated for May this year.
Chambeshi said in an interview in Lusaka on Wednesday night that competitions like the World Cup require good preparations because all the teams that participate are strong.
He is delighted that the junior Chipolopolo qualified for the World Cup with a game to spare but ruled out underrating any team in the remaining matches.
Zambia trounced Mali 6-1 to top Group A with six points, four better than Egypt, while Guinea and Mali have a point apiece but the former have a better goal aggregate.
Chambeshi said it is a long way to go and the team will strive to win the cup.
“We are taking all the games seriously. In the game against Egypt, I will use the people that I trust and I have confidence in all my players in the team,” he said.
Chambeshi, a winger in his heyday, will lead the team to South Korea, 29 years after he was part of the national team that reached the quarter-finals at the 1988 Olympic Games.
And Patrick Phiri, who was the first coach to qualify the under-20 national team to the World Cup in 1999, urged the players to remain focused.
“I think we are now beyond mere qualification. We are no longer a developing football nation, we have to aim higher and go beyond just qualifying,” he said.
Phiri said the World Cup is a different level and the team needs to work hard.
He is happy with the team spirit and is confident they will perform to expectation.
Meanwhile, Egypt coach Moatamed Abdelaziz says his charges have no choice but to beat Zambia in tomorrow’s match and qualify for the World Cup.
“We know that Zambia is a good team but we have no choice but to beat them on Saturday,” said Abdelaziz during a press conference on Wednesday.
Abdelaziz said he has respect for the junior Chipolopolo but that his troops have the pedigree to cause an upset.
Guinea coach Mandjou Diallo said his charges still have a chance to qualify for the World Cup.
Guinea drew 1-1 with Egypt and need to beat Mali and hope that Zambia over come the Arabs for them to have a chance of progressing to the semi-finals and qualifying for the World Cup.
“A point is not bad. We know that games involving our neighbours like Mali are difficult but we will plan for it and ensure that we collect maximum points,” Diallo said.
Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo commended the players for displaying quality football.
Makembo is confident the trophy will remain in Zambia.
Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association chairman Yotham Mwanza cautioned the under-20 team against underrating opponents in the remaining matches.

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