Copper Beats Ivory

Hello again and welcome back to your almost favorite Zambian football play by play. We have been treated to some goodies the last couple of games and wouldn’t you know it Zambia put up a convincing win against Ivory Coast Lite.

The game started with a bit of fire when the earliest chance fell for Ivory Coast as T. William shot just wide of Nsabata’s post within 3 minutes of  the whistle. 5 minutes on the clock and we were treated to as good a dive as you will see in the game. Dreadlocks flying everywhere back arched as though he’d been shot it was quite something as the ref rightfully waved away the appeal for an Ivorian Penalty.

The first chance for Zambia did not come long after, even though it was hit high into the stands by Friday Samu who really should have done better. The chance to take the lead was not far away and after an excellent interception and counter by the Zambians Mulenga was on hand to side foot the ball into the net from around 25 yards. He had no business taking the shot that early, but he did and the ball nestled in the back of the net and sent the small collection of Zambian supporters nuts.

After that, Zambia was presented with a number of chances as the Chipolopolo began to settle into the game. Kambole criminally missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0 just around the quarter hour mark while Mbewe came even closer to giving us the two goal cushion our play craved after heading a well placed Mulenga cross into the ground and subsequently onto the crossbar. His reaction to the miss said it all because he really should have done better with the shot having been left completely unmarked to head the most delicious ball any player in his position would have ever seen.

The elephants were not without their chances as they looked to exploit their wingers’ pace with a number of cutbacks from the by-line. However they failed to fashion many clear cut chances and Nsabata was relatively untroubled.

The rest of the half remained uneventful. A little laugh came courtesy of Silwimba who managed to injure two Ivorians in quick succession and earn himself a yellow card for his trouble. Moments later the ref blew for half time and the Zambians would go into the break a goal up but ruing some of their chances.

The second half began much, much slower than the first half with both teams seemingly advised to be cautious and not give away too much for fear of conceding. This was especially true for the Ivorians who worked to keep possession of the ball as much as possible and try to exploit any concentration lapses the Zambians could present. The Zambians struggled for long spells to get a hold of the ball as a result and would quickly lose possession in the few instances they won the ball back as the Elephants closed them down and forced the Chipolopolo to numerous mistakes.

The Ivorians clearly grew into the game and were much more comfortable on the ball than they were in the first half. However, they did not account for the brilliance that was Augustine Mulenga who got his brace with a quarter hour to go; much to the disdain of Ivorian fans I’m sure. The goal itself was a thing of beauty. A ball into Mbewe after some dominant attacking play by the Ivorians and he was off sprinting down the right wing with the power of a juggernaut. He then crossed the ball to Mulenga who for a moment looked like he miscontrolled it. One touch, hands on head; second touch, hands in the sky; three touch, as he sent 3 defenders on their backside, he was in and I was screaming “shoooot” but he didn’t this idiot; 4 touch he still didn’t this fool! It’s too late the chance is gone; 5 touch, side foot past the keeper into the bottom left hand corner, utter jubilation, never doubted him LOL. What a goal it was. If you’re on Twitter and didn’t get a chance to see it @chipolopolodh have a great clip of it, it’s worth a look (and even better in Arabic commentary).

In truth we were the better team and the Ivorians won’t feel hard done by because they didn’t create the best chances. The received many freekicks in threatening areas and had plenty of opportunities to even the scoreline, but in the end they were second best. As a result we’ve one upped them and get to reclaim some more bragging rights as we progress to the quarter finals of the tournament. We will be joined by Namibia who we play next to decide the leader of the group. I look forward to it.

Til then Weleee again!


Uganda Play Like That? Best Believe Uganda Lose

That title is clever. Be impressed.

Hello from Marrakech via a couch somewhere in Lusaka!

Zambia had returned to its regular programming after its disappointing attempt to qualify for the upcoming World Cup in June. Looking to put a smile back on the faces of its fans the Copper Bullets took a shot at the Cranes of Uganda in the CHAN Tournament, who in the end were gunned down from their perch quite comfortably.

The first 20 minutes of the game were fairly uneventful with Uganda having the better (although not the best) chances of the game. The Cranes came close half way through the first half after a well taken corner was steered toward the far post by Lwanga; ultimately ending up the wrong side of it.

Some boring stuff in the middle happened and while it looked like Uganda were more likely to score a brilliant run by Mbewe and well weighted pass set up Kambole who slotted the ball just under the diving keeper to give Zambia the lead. No time to celebrate. About five heartbeats later Uganda got their equaliser with a beautiful scissor kick by Nsibambi at the 40 minute mark. It was well taken and ultimately well deserved by the Cranes who had started to edge the possession and shots statistics.

The match came to life after that as Zambia were given another chance via a freekick into the box which landed on the head of Tembo who quite convincingly and embarassingly headed wide despite being left unmarked at the near post.

In the end it was all square at the break.

The second half began with similar momentum to the first but no major chances were created. Soon after the start Ng’onga got a knock was replaced by Friday Samu who’s first major contribution resulted in a booking.

Just after the hour mark Zambia would have another breakthrough: Kambole turned creator with a cross from the byline which took the Ugandan keeper out of play and allowed Augustine Mulenga to roll the ball into the bottom right corner and restore Zambia’s lead. Uganda again had a chance to equalise moments later, but this time their attempt went just wide.

Uganda searched in vain for an equalizer and the Zambians did well to soak up the pressure after waves of Ugandan attacks ultimately amounted to nothing. Zambia, instead were gifted another goal ten minutes later after a freekick by Kapumbu looped up off the wall and into the safe hands of the Ugandan keeper…. behind his goal line. *I can’t stop laughing* African football at it’s best there and Zambia were comfortable with a two goal cushion to protect.

Uganda continued their onslaught, but nothing really threatened the Zambian defence who kept the damage to the lone Nsibambi goal which on a different day would have deserved to win any game.

3-1 to the Zambians and a great start to the campaign. There will be some concern as N’gonga and Silwimba both received injuries during the match. Hope it’s nothing too serious.

Next up we face the wounded Elephants who will be looking for a result after losing to Namibia in their first match. Lock and load.

Weleee again.


Zambia Starting IX

Toaster Nsabata, Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu, Adrian Chama, Ziyo Tembo, Kondwani Mtonga, Donashano Malama, Ernest Mbewe, Augustine Mulenga, Alex Ng’onga, Lazarous Kambole

Uganda Starting XI

1-Benjamin Ochan (GK), 14-Nicholas Wadada, 3-Isaac Muleme, 5-Timothy Awanyi, 4-Bernard Muwanga (Capt), 21-Taddeo Lwanga, 23-Milton Karisa, 10-Mutyaba Muzamiru, 11-Derrick Nsibambi, 15-Saddam Juma, 17- Allan Kyambadde


So I figured that because I’m not doing much else with my time and Zambia disappointed so we’re not talking about that… I’d share a little bit of my experience with building a house. (it’s a little long. sorry)
I’d like to say that this is entirely based on my own personal experience and has taken place over a couple of years so the prices included in here have certainly changed over time.
Let’s get to it…
What do you need to know? I’d say most importantly: you want to be up for a build. It takes up a lot of your time, your mental well-being and crucially your money. I’m still young and fortunate enough to be employed so as soon as I knew I was going to be getting a regular income I decided I would build my first home.
I don’t regret the decision one bit. There are many benefits of being a home owner including a peace of mind knowing you have a roof over your head and your ability to access financing using your house as collateral which as many will know is often required when borrowing from banks. But as the saying goes to make money you have to spend money and spend I did.
The overall cost of building my 3 bedroomed 3 bathroom home is estimated at around K350, 000 (I hope lol). (The house isn’t done but my projections are seeing me go close to this figure). My largest expenses so far included the foundation slab which set me back K35, 000. You can’t do the slab in bits and pieces as it will compromise the foundation of your home. Make sure you have enough money to get this done in one go. Key materials (Blocks, laterite, quarry dust, crushed stones, cement, some timber to hold the slab in place as it dries, conforce wire, polythene roll, steel and wire nails and termite killer)
Getting up to wall plate (or roof) level was another K25, 000 – K30, 000 in materials. I’d like to mention that the labor cost up to this point was sitting at around K23, 000 which was paid in 3 installments depending on the progress made by the builders. The labor charge is usually calculated as a fraction of the materials you will be buying; often between 25%-30%. It’s not unusual for a builder to ask for an upfront payment. As a rule of thumb make sure this number isn’t more than half what you will owe for the completed work. Over the period your construction you will be asked for advances and so forth. I advise against giving them unless you are satisfied with the progress they’ve made otherwise you will end up with no money and a plot full of unused materials. This process took just around a month and half to complete. Key materials (blocks, cement and building sand)

Started to look like a house

Wall-plate Level

And then the roof. Just like the slab it’s not advisable to put the roof a little at a time because your timber is very prone to the elements and will warp or rot. This was the heaviest punch on my pocket because it took about K53, 000. If you don’t have that kind of money right away I suggest you leave your home at wall-plate level until you do. Key materials (timber varying sizes, wire and steel nails, wood preservative, paraffin, paint brushes, roofing sheets, ‘Abracon’ nails (brand of roofing nails) and roof seal)
In my case the labor to install the roof was an additional K13, 000. The whole installation process from the framework to installing the roofing sheets took just over a week and the roof itself doesn’t have a straightforward design. Simpler roof designs will likely be cheaper and could take less time to install.

After this you sort out your cabling. At the moment the best cables on the market are Zamefa cables and they are pricey. Careful about how you get quoted by your electrician. If they quote you 9 rolls of cables rest assured they will use 9 rolls of cables even when they only need 4 for example. In my case 4 red 4 black 4 green was sufficient for the whole house and the total including labor cost around K20,000. Key materials (cables, conduit pipes, couplings, copper rod and metre boxes)
The plastering and the flooring came next and the total cost of this including labor was around K15, 000. I had to wait for the rains to stop and have only just completed this process. I’m in the process of putting a rhino-board ceiling which will cost me another K30, 000. And this unfortunately is because the price of timber has gone up K20 since I began building. Timber prices are quite seasonal and as we approach the rainy season it isn’t unusual to see the price climbing as there is often a ban on logging in the country from December to around March/April. Key materials (plastering: quarry dust, cement, building sand. Ceiling: timber, ceiling boards, cornices (where applicable) beading, fibre tape, screws and nails)

From this point on the costs are all rough estimates.
To follow the ceiling installation I intend to have aluminium windows put in which I estimate will cost between K30, 000 and K35, 000. I will then tile the floors and install the kitchen cabinets and counters at an estimated cost of K30, 000 and K40, 000 respectively. Soon after I will have in place the bathroom fittings and plumbing which will cost around K5, 000 – K10, 000 each.
Total expenses up to this point: K334, 000. The final touches after this are unlikely to set me back too much. Paint, lighting, sockets etc. so the total will sit around that K350, 000 mark (I hope). (An update will be provided when final numbers come in). I am, however, aware of the fact that small expenses do add up and some builders can be wasteful with materials. Don’t be surprised to see piles of stones, blocks, tiling or timber that could have been used just lying about.
I hope that estimate gives you some sort of idea of what’s required going into building. It’s definitely not a one size fits all model and you can find a way to get a lot of the expenses to be lower than what I spent. I began with a year’s worth of savings in addition to using most (3/4s of it) of my salary to build. If you choose to build your own home and will be financing the project through borrowing I recommend you place all your ducks in a row before doing so. The prices of your materials can swing drastically and you may underestimate the cost before proceeding with the project as a result. Note that I did not include the cost of the land or an architect in these estimates. Those will vary heavily especially in Lusaka.
The estimated cost is key to deciding the best course of action when making plans to have a home. Are you paying using your income? Are you going to borrow? Will you choose to buy a ready built house instead? Will you live in it or rent it out? Is owning a home even worth it? All the answers to these questions will come down to personal preference. As a money maker rental income is very slow and I could even end up making my money back in 10 years’ time. I’ve chosen to build because it will be more valuable to me as an asset rather than an investment.
DO NOT feel pressure to own a home especially if you can’t afford it. One of the biggest mistakes people make is committing to such a heavy expense when they are not ready for it. So much so that they wind up with crippling debt and liquidity issues. If you have trouble deciding just how much of your income to spend on housing in a month start with an amount that’s around 25%. If you can handle more go for it, but make sure you’ve accommodated all your other expenses first with an emergency buffer for those pesky unpredictable costs. After that the world is your canvas.

Update: I should add here that it’s really important to keep tabs of all your expenses. Write every one of them down in a notebook or diary and ensure you’re able to compare your costs with your budget. This will help you avoid unnecessary expenses and will go a long way in helping you see the progress you’ve made.

Update 2: The Windows did ultimately cost me K31,000 which was within my initial estimates. The floor tiles were slightly above my estimation with a cost of K31,000 and an additional K6,000 for the installers. Note that your choice of tile can be much cheaper or much more expensive than the type I used. There will always be something for your budget.

Update 3: Costing for the kitchen has been done and will come in at just under K40,000 which is right on budget. The kitchen will have granite counter-tops and melamine board cabinets. Photos of the work will be posted as soon as possible.

Update 4: Teehee been a while ey? Sorry guys the spirit of procrastination manifested heavily and kept me from you. But I’m back!

Update 5: The kitchen was done for K40,000. However, since I last updated you all I’ve also done the bathrooms (tubs, taps [high-ish end] toilets, basins, a shower for the master and tiling) for a total of *cough* K35,000 including labour for all 3 bathrooms. The cost is probably on the high side because of how I chose the bathrooms to look with the master getting a floor to ceiling tiles design as well as the cost of the taps I used.

Sorry for the mess they’ll look cuter after a scrub.

The plumbing was also done though you obviously can’t see it in these pics. I used PVC pipes and connectors for a total of about K7,000 for everything I needed and labour for the plumber.

Wardrobes were completed for each of the 3 bedrooms with a walk-in design for the master bedroom at a total cost of K33,000 inclusive of a K5,400 installation fee.

You can probably spot a lick of paint in the rooms (will need to be patched up after all the messes that took place with the installations but it’s nothing too hectic) and that set me back around K5,000 for all the rooms inside the house. Started with a primer (note here that this is different from undercoat because it’s a new surface) and the final coat of paint.

I’m sure my keen eyed mathematicians have noted I’ve blown a lottle past my estimated remaining expenses. The economy you see. It went a bit wonky but also, quite crucially, I wanted certain shiny and expensive things that I probably could have avoided for cheaper bathrooms and stuff. Lol. Nevertheless, it’s still certainly a learning experience especially if you end up with a prolonged project like mine. I will reiterate that you can find a lot within your budget, but in many instances you might have to compromise either on your vision (this happened to me a lot) or your budget (this even more so) to get a finished product that will make you happy. Don’t fret. The options are there and I’m more than certain you can achieve a lot of your dream designs within your means.

Now, I really am at the tail end of the project. I will be remaining with the fittings and final touches. I won’t pretend to know what it’ll cost me because I like things, but I will be sure to update you when I’m done.

Total cost of house until this point is sitting at around K420,000. Maybe I can keep it under K450,000 who knows. Find out on the next episode of Dragonball Z.

In the meantime here’s a pic of the yard which is coming along after some rain.

Final Update!!!

Thank you all for following me on this journey. My house is now complete. Since my last update additional fittings, including, installing a gate, burglar bars, light fixtures, a stove, a water tank and paving all brought the total to a whopping K550,000. Of course all these costs are subjective and your home need not included these final fittings exactly but I just felt that for finality’s sake you all know where I finally ended up. I have included a highlight of the finished project. That’s it from me. I hope this was helpful and good luck to any of you who will embark on this or a similar journey.


He only had 4 minutes to save the world and Patson Daka did just that. A beast throughball from Emmanuel Banda opened up the defense and Daka skilfully chipped the ball over the keeper to give the Zambians an early lead. Bellissimo!

The play was disrupted moments later for some lengthy treatment on Mwepu our fearless midfield maestro. My heart broke at the notion of playing without him, and we were offered some relief when he came back on briefly. 

Eventually the game was back underway and a couple of free kicks for either team were well defended. The best of which taken by Emmanuel Banda and well saved by Zaccagno. It was apparent that Mwepu could not go on and he was eventually taken off.

The pressure was on from the Italians at this point as they were evidently rattled by the early goal. A great shot from Orsolini was sent straight to Mangani Banda’s hands. Moments later Orsolini provided another heart in mouth incident this time inexplicably heading the ball into the ground and not the net.

It was all Italy now and wave after wave of attack came but nothing troubled Mangani Banda so much so that the Zambians decided to take matters into their own hands and get an Italian sent off for their trouble. It was a significant moment of controversy as Chilufya was apparently clipped in the box. The ref pointed to the spot but consulted the video referee after vehement protests from the Italians. Woe on them as a red card was instead shown to Pezzella. They werw however spared going further behind as Zambia were instead awarded a free kick. I watched the replays and it looked an incredibly soft sending off………………….. Oh well.

The half closed with a good Chilufya shot at 45mins from the right to the near post. But it was saved.

Italy learned a lesson from our playbook and equalised inside 5 minutes of the restart with a header by Italian dangerman Orsolini. Boooooooooo

The Zambians, however were not outdone and looked to take advantage of their extra man. They bombarded the Italian goal and numerous long range efforts gave keeper Zaccagno a good stretch of his reflexes.

Fashion Sakala gave Zambia the lead again with around 10 minutes to go and with five minutes to go Italy found an equalizer courtesy of Dimarco. It was a brilliantly taken freekick from a brilliant position but it begs the question… Why are we like this?

The first half of extra time was fairly uneventful save for Kalunga’s cross that flirted with the goal.

The second half was back to business….. for the Italians. Luca Vido headed the ball home from a corner and gave Italy the lead at the inopportune time. Tried as the might the Zambians could not break the resolute defense and the inevitable eventually happened. Zambia lost 3-2. 

Well played by the Italians especially after going a man down so early in the game and comin from behind twice.


🇿🇲ZAM STARTING XI: M.Banda, Nyondo, Chiluya, S.Sakala, F.Sakala, Mwepu, E.Banda, Mayembe, Chilufya, Daka, Musonda

🇮🇹ITA STARTING XI: Zaccagno, Scalera, Romagna, Coppolaro, Orsolini, Favilli, Pessina, Pezzella, Vitale, Cassata, Panico

A Near Death Experience: Zambia 4-3 Ze Germans

The half that didn’t happen: a narration.

This is a tale of a half that didn’t happen. Zambia didn’t play against Germany in the first half and we didn’t begin the game a tad unevenly matched. As the half didn’t necessarily get on Germany didn’t grow a little more into the game and patiently wait for an opportunity to score a goal.

The half wasn’t at all uneventful except for a few clash of heads here and there. In truth nothing at all happened in the first half and this was made even more apparent by a supposed freekick goal that went in off the cross bar in the 37th minute. The alleged incident was not well taken by Ochs to give Germany an apparent lead with Mangani Banda clearly supposedly unequal to the shot.

To conclude the half that didn’t happen, the referee blew his whistle. The end.

Second half was a lot better from a Zambian perspective Zambia equalised just a few minutes into the second half after a missed overhead by Mwepu fell favourably for Emmanuel Banda who made no mistake with a sweet left foot shot that nearly ripped the net.

Game on and the Zambians certainly found their feet. There was a notable increase in control and composure from the Zambians which was eventually rewarded in the 68th minute.

Fashion Sakala again. Man! What a player we have on our hands. A spectacular shot from the right beat the German keeper at his far post. A rocket. A bullet. A (anything else that moves fast) it was a crazy good shot and Zambia took the lead for first time.

Now I must warn all my readers with health issues that are triggered by stress that the following recollection of events may result in some discomfort.

Minute 87: Mwepu completes a 4 on one counter attack with a coolly placed goal. 3-1, Zambia.

Minute 89: Serder backheels/flicks (whatever) the ball into the net for Germany to make the finale a frantic one. 3-2, Zambia.

Minute 90: The board shows three added minutes. Three minutes for Zambia to hang on.

Minute 92 and 58 seconds: Rottweiler or whatever his name is goes and knocks the the ball in to equalise for Germany and triggers a flurry of simultaneous unmentionables across the country.

3-3. Full Time.

Let’s pause for a moment to catch our breaths and ask the most important question of our footballing lives….. HHOOOOWWWWWW?

The obvious scapegoat here would come from our defense who seemed to switch off at the inopportune time. However I very much put a lot of the blame on our attackers for this one. They had a chance to take the ball to the corner flag at the other end with 30 seconds on the clock. Feign an injury, hug the ref, I don’t know just run down that clock. They didn’t. Instead a fluffed shot went out for a goal kick and gave Germany one last chance. One last moment. One last hope. And we were punished. Scenes. 3-3 and we now enter extra time.

It appeared luck was on our side after all. A couple of half chances from either side; but the key moment fell to Mayembe who slotted the ball home 2 minutes into the second half of extra time. This time the young Zambians did hang on, though not without incident. We seemed eager to replicate the last gasp equaliser in regulation time, but fortunately Germany did not punish us a second time and we emerged (at the second time of asking) victorious.

Neutrals will have likely enjoyed that game but the europhoria in the city centre suggests that Zambians (eventually) did too. Great game and great work by the lads to keep their heads throughout all of it.

We won and that should be all that matters but I feel a lot of work still needs to be done with our defense as a unit. For long parts of the game it felt like Germany weren’t really up for it and that helped Zambia’s case. But as we get on we will meet teams that will be up for it and our defensive frailties might be better tested.

Hopefully we sort those out before we face one of France or Italy in the quarterfinals.

What a game. Almost didn’t get to but Weleee again!

🇿🇲ZAM STARTING XI: M.Banda, Nyondo, Chiluya, S.Sakala, Siame, F.Sakala, Mwepu, E.Banda, Mayembe, Daka, Musonda

🇩🇪GER STARTING XI: Brodersen, Neumann, Schad, Gimber, Fechner, Serdar, Reese, Ochs, Bader, Torunarigha, Iyoha

No Clean Sweep: Zambia 0-1 Costa Rrrrrriiiicccaaa

Costa Rica came into the match needing a win and a favorable outcome in the group’s other game so it was no surprise that they piled on the pressure early on.

Nsunzu had an early chance for Zambia but saw his side footed effort saved well onto the crossbar by Costa Rican keeper Pineda.

Costa Rica got the break they needed moments later after being awarded a penalty following a careless tackle in the box. Daly stepped up to take the spotkick which was initially saved by Mangani but unfortunately found its way back to Daly who made no mistake a second time. We seem to have a knack for giving penalties away.

The goal gave Costa Rica some momentum and saw them create a few more chances but this allowed the game to open up and allowed the Tupolopolo to create a few chances of their own.

The rest of the first half was spent watching poorly taken set pieces from both sides and wondering if the commentator was butchering Chilufya or correctly referring to Chiluya. Long story short it was uneventful and the half time whistle was welcome.

The second half more or less began the way the first ended with no notable moments to write home about. Set pieces and corners by the Zambians amounted to nothing and Costa Rica were more than happy to run down the clock. Mwepu had a half chance from the umpteenth Zambian corner just before the hour mark but he fluffed the shot.

Five minutes later Nsunzu gave away yet another Zambian penalty very much against the run of play, but Leal struck it hard against the crossbar despite sending Mangani Banda the wrong way with the rebound eventually, albeit unconvincingly saved by Mangani. It remained 1-0 and the spot of luck appeared to rejuvenate the Zambians who saw two good chances go wide.

At this point it became open ended with Costa Rica having a shot saved at the other end before yet another Zambian opportunity did not find the ball in the back of the net. Nyondo had the best of the lot but had his low drive saved by the formidable Pineda.

Two penalties; another corner; another chance not taken; and some timewasting for good measure this game had it all except a goal from Zambia.

So it was only right that one came in the 88th minute. Except it didn’t because the video assistant referee emerged to (rightly) rule the goal out for offside as Daka had strayed just off on the left before wacking the ball in following a rebound off the post. Wasted somersaults.

The game ended with a victory for Costa Rica, but unfortunately for them they still go out as Portugal beat Iran in the other group game to finish level on points with Zambia. We finished with the better goal difference and better head to head so we go into the knockouts group winners.

Great work from the Zambians who did not give up and fell just short on account of some excellent work by Pineda, the Costa Rican goalie.

We march on and await our opponents in the round of 16.

Wele iwe!

Update: Portugal finish second in the group with 4 points having scored more goals than Costa Rica. The Costa Ricans will regret that second penalty miss.

Update 2: We play Germany next. Game set for 31st May 2017. Bring on Ze Germans


🇿🇲ZAM STARTING XI: M Banda, Nyondo, Chiluya, Muchindu, Sakala, Mwepu, Mayembe, Chilufya, Nsunzu, Daka, Musonda

🇨🇷CRC STARTING XI: Pineda, Mesen, Arboine, Gonzalez, Sequeira, Marin, Daly, Leal, Arguedas, Alfaro, Torres


Iran were certainly shown a whole new world by losing to Zambia despite Mangani Banda’s best effort and a mysterious magic carpet ride from Iran Number 10 Shekari.

(For those who didn’t get it. This is a reference to Iran formerly known as Persia. So the rug? Persian rug? Aladdin magic carpet etc etc. It’s funny laugh with me)

The game started with Zambia on the front foot though no major incident occurred until the 7th minute when Mangani Banda’s laughable attempted clearance found Shekari to the left of area. The number 10 capitalised on the mistake and beat Banda at his far post. He got cocky and was deservedly punished, but hopefully it will come as a learning experience for him.

Zambia responded well to going a goal down and a flurry of half chances followed as Tupololo worked to find the equaliser. The best chance of the lot came from Fashion Sakala who was unlucky to see a fantastic looping header come off the post in first half stoppage time. However Iran’s defense remained resolute and Zambia went into the break a goal behind.

The Second half began just as poorly as the first as Iran were awarded a dubious penalty in the first 5 minutes of kick off. It was an excellently terrible dive sold well enough to the referee and Shekari made sure it counted by sending Banda the wrong way and planting the spot kick in the left hand corner. Two things on this: 1) Players will always find a way to go down in the box. It looked a dive, but it also showed some naïve defending because you will always find yourself in trouble if you clearly do not take the ball; 2) It’s interesting that the video assistant wasn’t consulted on that one. FIFA are working hard to bring as much fairness into the game as possible and one way was the introduction of video replays. I think our ref forgot he had this at his disposal because he didn’t refer to it and Iran found themselves in an advantageous position despite being on the back foot.

The Zambians did not put their heads down for one second and Fashion Sakala; making quite the statement ensured his name continued to be in the headlines. The Zambian number 10 made fantastic ground on the left before sealing it with great half volley that beat the keeper at his far post. Game on.

Five minutes later the same man had a similar chance to equalise, but sliced his shot wide. The break would however, come moments later as Mwepu found the valuable equaliser from just outside the penalty area with a low shot that slightly deflected into the bottom right corner. The Iranians were stunned, the fans euphoric.

The next five minutes were spent watching Mangani Banda receiving treatment for an awkward fall and this is usually the point when teams collect their thoughts and regroup. Zambia got the memo, Iran not so much as Emmanuel Banda capitalised on a sort of, kind of loose ball that was pinging about in the penalty area following a Zambia corner. 3-2 and Zambia now had a score line that matched their dominance.

The action did not end there as Iran had a good cross in the box cleared well by Mangani before Shekari had a chance to get his hat trick. Minutes later Patson Daka sealed it for Zambia with a perfectly placed shot from the outside of the box that found itself left of the keeper. The best goal of the lot for me. Also is it really a comeback if it was never in doubt? You be the judge.

Iran nearly pulled one back in the 85th minute but could only find the post despite some suspect set piece defending left the brace goal scorer Shekari unmarked at the near post. The 5 minute stoppage time following Banda’s long treatment was not enough for Iran and Zambia emerged victorious and the first team to qualify from their group.

Next up is Costa Rrrrrrriiicccaaa *shimmy*. Let’s complete our world domination with a hammering of our South American counterparts.

Til then Wele again!

What A Start! Zambia 2-1 Portugal

Let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to it. Zambia played Portugal in their first match at the Under-20 World Cup and while the match from the start was end to end Portugal had a good 25 yard Xadas effort saved inside 5 minutes. In truth though, neither team demonstrated any form of dominance or control in the first 15 minutes.

On the 20 minute mark, Mwepu saw a decent effort from the edge of the penalty area saved by Portuguese keeper Costa (not that one) bringing the shots on target tally to one a piece.

Small heart in mouth moment when Zambia were careless in possession and Portugal nearly capitalised save for Mangani Banda reacting quickly to smother the ball just seconds shy of the half hour.

Portugal had a free kick opportunity cleared after the only yellow card offense of the match and broke down a Zambian counter before eventually seeing a shot fly high over the bar and injuring Patson Daka in the process. Daka was replaced by Emmanuel Banda just shy of the halftime whistle.

Soon after Portugal had an excellent opportunity cleared off the line by Nyondo who brilliantly found himself in front of a diving Mangani Banda and calmly cleared the ball.

Shout out to the handful of Zambia fans in the stadium who had nothing to report in the first half. Y’all the real MVPs.

Some excellent ball control by Mwepu early in the second half deserved a goal but his resultant shot assist to F. Sakala was well saved.

Minutes later however Mwepu’s edge of the area shot proved too hot to handle by Costa who helplessly parried his save to a more than obliging Edward Chilufya. 1-0 to the Tupolopolo.

After this the young Portuguese players turned on their famous flair and spurned a couple of excellent chances with Zambia suffering from a fairly noticeable after-goal hangover. Wave after wave of Portuguese attack crashed the Zambian defence with only the Portuguese lacking that clinical final ball from Gedson and then Xadas moments later.  Another decent cross found the head of Goncalves who saw his effort at pace end up wide of the post.

Emmanuel Banda’s long range effort forced an awkward save by the Portuguese keeper before Goncalves again missed the target at the other end of the pitch.

Soon however it was made apparent that Zambian goals were clearly in Fashion as that man Sakala got Zambia’s second in the 76th minute with a great shot from the left that beat Costa at his near post. Dream start and Zambia were definitely confident, comfortable and cruising.  I mean if you’re going to successfully attempt Christiano Ronaldo stepovers against a team from his birth country just grab a broom because it’s gotten messy.

Portugal did pull a goal back courtesy of a Helder shot from the edge of the area. The Portuguese player pounced on a rebounded Silva shot that Mangani Banda saved after quickly coming off his line. However the keeper could only watch Helder’s shot go past him as he was caught in no man’s land. Soon after though the ref did blow his whistle for the final time and the Zambians simutaneously took to their knees to say a prayer of thanks for a well deserved victory against the two time U20 champions.

More of the same please. Weleee Zambia!


🇿🇲ZAM STARTING XI: M. Banda, Nyondo, Chilufya, S Sakala, Luchanga (Siame 63′), F Sakala, Mwepu, Mayembe, Chilufya, P. Daka (E. Banda 44′), Musonda

🇵🇹POR STARTING XI: D Costa, R Dias, Y Ribeiro, D Goncalves, A Ribeiro, Xadas, J Fernandes, F Luis (Pepe 68′), D Dalot, J Gomes, Gedson #U20WC

Zamfest 2017: Eat, Play, Love.

When I’m not about football I’m about the good vibes. Have a read.

Quirky Boi

Foodies and fatties assemble!

The pre-fest hype was real.

My taste buds were ready.

I deliberately had a quick tiny breakfast to save room for all the chow I was anticipating at “Zambia’s biggest and first of it’s kind food festival”. I am not much of a foodie, I’m more of a fattie. Anything that tastes good to me I will devour in seconds, no refined pallets and all the fancy smanshy talk you hear on the Food Channel. Anything that doesn’t taste good I will pretend to like (because I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings) but probably pick at it like a bird till it looks like I ate some.

I was really excited for this particular fest because it was also SQUAD DAY for my best friends and I. Every now and then we go out and act a fool as a group because adulting won’t allow…

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