Zambia Under-20 coach Mumamba Numba is defiant despite the defending champions and hosts’ losing 2-0 to Uganda in their opening Group A match of the 2017 COSAFA U20 Cup.

Zambia were humbled on Wednesday night by guest side Uganda in both sides opening Group A match at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.

The defeat saw Zambia slump to the bottom of Group A while Uganda and Malawi are tied on 3points after the later also won 3-2 against Swaziland.

Numba said the game was a learning curve for the team he has been with from Under-17 level that won the COSAFA U17 Cup in Mauritius in July.

“I am happy with their performance because it is goods for the development of Zambian football. I think they needed to progress to the next level,” Numba said.

“They did well at Under-17 level and we needed to give them chance so that we see which players are ready to play at this level.”

Numba repeated that he is using the COSAFA U20 Cup to come up with a side to take into the 2019 U20 AFCON qualifiers next year that Zambia must qualify for even as defending champions.

“But as we go on and start prepare for the U20 AFCON qualifiers, we will try and fuse in a few more players,” said Numba.

Zambia face Malawi in their penultimate Group A match on Friday afternoon at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe.

A draw or loss will see them relinquish their hold on the COSAFA U20 Cup crown.