Zambia this afternoon takes on Malawi at the ongoing COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship knowing victory will all but secure qualification to the Morocco Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations.
Having started off the re-arranged tournament with a deserved 2-1 win over Angola, the defending champions will have to replicate Sunday’s performance or even better it against a Malawi side coming from a 2-2 draw against South Africa.
A win will maintain Zambia’s top spot at the tournament regardless of the result in the 12:30 hours match between South Africa and Angola at Gelvandale Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Coach George Chilufya is relishing this afternoon’s game, explaining the importance of getting maximum points from his charges led by skipper, Miguel Changa Chaiwat.
“The Angola game is history now. All our focus and energy go towards the Malawi game. We shall still stick to our target which is to qualify to the AFCON, but we have to win the COSAFA and beating Malawi will give us an advantage,” Chilufya said.
“Today’s game is as important as the Angola match; we have to go all out for a win because this is what we came for to ensure that we defend the tournament which we won last year.”
Chilufya is likely to keep faith in the players that started against Angola with Eric Makungu expected to take his place between the sticks. At the back Lombe Mutale, Chaiwa, Teddy Khumalo and Onesimus Chipango look set to provide cover for Makungu while Julius Kumwenda, Richard Ngoma and Joseph Banda are certain to claim their place in midfield.
Goalscorers from the Angola match -Charles Majapa Mumba and Rickson N’gambi are expected to lead the frontline in the country’s quest to conquer the regional tournament and grab a ticket to Morocco.
The match will be played at Gelvandale Stadium at 15:30hours and will be streamed live on Cosafa. tv
Top two teams at the COSAFA will qualify to the AFCON billed for Morocco next year.