The Chipolopolo boys forced in a last-minute goal in the first leg of the Egypt 2019 U23 AFCON qualifier against Brazzaville, prompting the Congolese coach Jean Elie Ngoya to analogize Zambia to a sleeping snake that bites in unsuspecting circumstances.
The Chipolopolo boys were wasteful in the first half after scoring in the sixth minuet through winger Fashion Sakala. Zambia created numerous chances to kill the game then continued to be wasteful with striker Patson Daka alone missing out five one on one chances. Brazzaville equalized a minute after the interval to complicate Zambia’s qualification prospects. The junior Chipolopolo boys were in tartars, seemingly confused in every department as the Congolese side commenced their dominance on the pitch.
Substitutions made by coach Betson Chambeshi only proved to worsen matters as Zambia were broken in the middle of the pack.
Two or three chances were created in the second half but the individuals given the mandate to score were still not clinical on goal. Two minutes before time, with the stadium slowly emptying as people lost hope of seeing their team score a winner, Sakala did the unbelievable, by maintaining his composure inside the box to fashion a goal that gave Zambia the advantage going into the second round of the qualifier.
When asked to describe the moment, Congo Brazzaville coach Jean Elie Ngoya likened the Chipolopolo boys to a big giant sleeping snake that bites in the most unexpected way.
“We came here with the idea that we may have a draw game, unfortunately that we have lost the game but the result gives us an opportunity to do better in the return match. My team has never given me a performance like it has today. I would say that Zambia were the favourites to win the game but my team played very well to stop them from hurting us further. The boy I substituted; that is one of my best players because he is a professional player. And the two strikers I pushed in front, those they play local league. And there’s a lot of weaknesses that I found from the Zambia team but I will not say them because I will give an idea to Beston my colleague to work on them,” he said.
“I will be very conscious with the return game because Zambia is like a sleeping snake and any time it can suddenly raise its head and bite like they did today. So, we cannot say much but I will do my best to ensure that the team puts up a very good performance against Chipolopolo,” he said