By NATION REPORTER
COSAFA-BOUNDZambia national soccer team coach Mumamba Numba says team Zambia has picked lessons from the disappointing two consecutive defeats to Kuwait and Morocco in the two friendly matches played in North Africa.
The Chipolopolo squad consisting of all local stars was stunned 3-0 by Kuwait in an international friendly on June 12 in Cairo, Egypt before recording a 3-1 defeat to Morocco Under-19 in the second friendly played on Monday night at the Prince Moulay Abdullah Stadium in Rabat.
A brace from Amine El Ouazzani and a late goal from Ismail Saibari guaranteed a win for the Moroccans who had dominated play.
Sensational Zanaco FC speed winger Abraham Siankombo scored Zambia’s consolation goal but it was not enough to rescue Numba’s boys.
The consecutive defeat in Rabat ended Zambia’s North African tour with six goals conceded and only goal scored.
The performance disappointed Numba who doubles as Kabwe Warriors head coach and was tasked with the responsibility to prepare the lads for the Cosafa scheduled to kick off next month in South Africa.
“It is something we are disappointed with. We never expected to lose the two games but it is part of football. We have learnt lessons and all we need is to get down to work on the team so that we can perform better at Cosafa,” Numba said.
He said the North African tour which provided a good learning curve for the young Chipolopolo lads gave the technical bench an insight of what they need to do to improve before the Cosafa kicks off.
“It has been a good learning curve for the boys and the team. The two friendly games have given us a good picture of where we are in terms of readiness to compete in the Cosafa.
“We haven’t done well especially defensively. We made mistakes which resulted in us conceding the three goals. Otherwise we still have a lot of work to do to shape up the team for the Cosafa,” Numba said.
Numba hinted that not all the players who were part of the squad in North Africa would make the cut for the final squad travelling to South Africa.
As the defending champions of the Cosafa Cup, Zambia will compete in group B alongside Malawi, Seychelles and Comoros at the tournament which will be held in Durban from July 5-16.
The tournament will be the first under the new format where the top ranked teams also start from the group stage.
The new format will see 12 teams take part, split into three groups of four sides, with the three pool winners and the best runner-up advancing to the semifinals.
Hosts South Africa will face Namibia, Eswatini and Botswana while Group C has Mozambique, Angola, Mauritius and Lesotho.