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Egypt 2023: Zambia Under-20 coach unhappy over draw with Benin Republic

Young Chipolopolo coach Chisi Mbewe

Young Chipolopolo coach Chisi Mbewe says his team will have to look at themselves again after their nail-biting 1-1 draw with Benin Republic on Tuesday.

At the ongoing Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt, Zambia came from a goal down to hold the impressive Cheetahs from Benin Republic in a Group C match in Alexandria.

Second-half substitute Rickson Ng’ambi drew level on the hour mark following Rodolfo Aloko’s fine opener.

But Mbewe said his team was not impressive in the early period of the encounter. “We were unrecognisable in the first half, then we quickly equalised.

“We regained control of the match, but it was not enough to win. What I retain is the spirit of our reaction.”

The coach said that his boys would have to be more focused when they face The Gambia in their next group match on Friday.

“We cannot be satisfied with this result. We have to question ourselves, find our drive,” Mbewe added.

The Gambia had earlier defeated Tunisia by a lone goal in the first Group C encounter as the Abdoulie Bojang’s Young Scorpions dominated possession against the Young Carthage Eagles.

The match was a repeat of the third-place match in 2021 which the Young Scorpions won on penalty kicks in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

The match saw both sides trying to start the play from behind as they build up to the midfield and spread it around the wide areas.

The West Africans who are appearing in the tournament for the fourth time started the better side with Mahmud Bajo, Haruna Rasid Njie and Alieu Gibba dictating the contest’s flow.

The first half saw neither side register a shot on goal.

But it was the Young Scorpions who had the first attempt of the match through Hawks FC left-back Sainey Sanyang.

The second half saw both sides make changes to undo each other in the encounter.

However, it was The Gambia who had the best opportunity after 70 minutes through Rasid Njie as the Gunjur midfielder headed over Sainey Sanyang’s cross.

Tunisia held their own but they were caught out six minutes from normal time when Saine headed in Sanyang’s delivery in off the post to secure The Gambia all three points.

The Gambia won bronze twice in their three previous participations in the tournament.

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Written by Tom Chiahemen

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