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GHANA VS ZAMBIA: Repeat or Revenge?

Zambia players celebrate victory over Ivory Coast in CAN final

At an altitude of almost 38,000 feet in the sky, aboard a British Airways flight, while my fellow travellers were busily requesting food and drinks, I decided to make a rather obscure request: a pen and paper! Apparently to do a football piece.
I don’t remember the last time I wrote one this way, but hey, old fashioned is not as boring as you may think because I am even getting some kicks out of it.

Well, here is what, while on the return flight to Ghana; timed perfectly to coincide with my birthday celebration with ‘the potential Mrs.’, my thoughts drifted to the crunch encounter between Ghana’s Black Stars and the reining African Champions, the Chipolopolo of Zambia in the crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier in Ndola, Zambia.

Following Zambia’s shock 1-0 defeat of the Black Stars at the 2012 Africa Nations Cup (AFCON), the stakes in this match have gone another notch higher.

The Black Stars seek revenge and a consolidation of its status, as Group D leaders, after dismissing Lesotho 7-0 in Kumasi.

The Chipolopolo seek not only 3 points, but also a confirmation of their new found superiority over Ghana.

The Chipolopolo, who need a lift badly after being humbled 2-0 in the group opener by Sudan, couldn’t have bargained for a higher motivation.
So, when Tunisian referee, Med Kordi, whistles for the end of the match, what would it be? Repeat or Revenge? Here is what I think.

Repeat

The good thing going into this match for Zambia is that the Chipolopolo had the perfect warm up prior to this encounter.

Yes, they may have lost to Sudan but on hindsight it may be a good thing after all. It may be the reality check the team needs to come down from the high of winning the 2012 AFCON.

If Sudan could take Zambia apart the way she did, how much more Ghana considering the mentality with which the Zambians went into the game.

The difficult thing about playing in a group of 4 teams is that there is little room for slip ups and the encounter is thus a must win game for Zambia to gain three points and bring back on course, qualification to the World Cup.

Well, that may be the wish, but how practical is that on the field against Ghana.

Zambian Coach, Herve Renard also known as ‘the fox’, has had to contend with several on and off field problems at the start of the qualifiers.

The Zambian team had a poor flight arrangement in the lead up to the match against Sudan, which Renard claims affected the players.

Renard has also tried desperately to work on the mindset of the Zambians in order to avoid complacency within the rank.

He has vehemently maintained that Zambia may have won a tournament but that doesn’t mean they are the best in Africa.

But none of those concerns would bother ‘the fox’ more than the form of the players who formed the spine of the championship winning team early this year.

In the match against Sudan, most of the players went to sleep or had an off day including inspirational captain Christopher Katongo.

Chisamba Lungu spent most of the time playing to gallery and was rightly taken off. Midfield pair Isaac Chansa and Nathan Sinkala’s lack of game time at Orlando Pirates and TP Mazembe respectively, clearly told in their performance.

Renard would hope for an improved performance in order to secure victory. He would also pray that exciting attacker Rainford Kalaba, who was the only bright spot in the Sudanese game, would pass a late fitness after picking up a knock.

Once he gets the midfield ticking, the supply to Emmanuel Mayuka (Scorer of the winning goal against Ghana), who cast a lonely figure upfront in the last game, should improve.

Renard would also have to solve his left back problems where Ghana could capitalise and hurt them.

Renard in the last game surprisingly fielded Power Dynamos’ Thomas Nyirenda ahead of recovering Joseph Musonda and exciting FC Porto’s Emmanuel Mbola.

Nyirenda failed to hold his own and was eventually substituted. Either the experienced Musonda or Mbola would most likely start.

If Renard gets his tactics right, the team would not find it hard to motivate themselves to win the match.

Three points, bragging rights and an ice on the opening of the newly constructed Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola is definitely enough to get Zambia’s adrenaline pumping for a repeat performance against Ghana.

Revenge

These are promising times for the Black Stars indeed. Yes, it may have only been against lowly rated Lesotho, but for a team that doesn’t score a lot of goals, the mauling in Kumasi is encouraging on many fronts.

The aftermath of the AFCON was very ugly for the Black Stars. Player discontent and disunity, an arrogant coach called Goran Stevanovic, who would not accept his failings, going further to criticise the players’ mentality of ‘Black Magic’ against each other, all added up to a waning of fans’ confidence in the team.

The Ghana FA had to act, and though it took them a while, they cleaned house by promoting assistant coach, Kwesi Appiah, to assume full responsibility and completely changed the back room staff as well.

Though some doubted Appiah’s ability, especially how he was going to man manage the big egos in the dressing room, he has seemingly, gotten off to the perfects of starts with the massive win against Lesotho in his first game.

The key to his encouraging start has been his decision to cast the net wider and cap players who have been playing and are in good form as against established names who lacked playing time with their clubs.

Out went the likes John Pantsil and Jonathan mensah. In came the likes of Jerry Akaminko from Manisaspor in Turkey and wonder kid Christian Atsu of FC Porto. Both made their debuts and capped it with a goal each.

He also recalled Esperance’s Harrision Afful and Dominic Adiyiah while giving local boys like Richard Kissi Boateng of Berekum Chelsea a chance to compete.

The message was clear: No more would places in the team be handed on a platter. The players responded with that resounding victory.

It is also important to note that, he hasn’t completely thrown out experience, with stand in captain, AC Milan’s Sulley Muntari dictating affairs from the middle.

There seems to be something fresh about the Black Stars; a team starting over with belief. It may be all psychological; but that is exactly the edge the Stars would need to defeat the Chipolopolo because on game day, man for man the Black Stars can compete squarely.

One thing is for sure though; the Stars would create numerous chances and the difference between getting revenge or losing, would be how prolific the Stars would be on the day.

Verdict

So, there you have it, a close analysis of both sides’ chances ahead of the match. If you asked me, I would rather be where I am currently; in the middle seat and let you decide.

Zambia would definitely not sit back like she did at the last AFCON because she has to win and would be forced to attack, a game that suits the style of the Black Stars.

This makes for an interesting and fiery encounter, a neutral’s delight you might say. But for Ghanaians and Zambians, would it be Repeat or Revenge? You tell me.

niiayitey29@gmail.com – 90 Minutes Newspaper

READERS COMMENTS

  1. Mojahadine says:

    This piece is total nonsense. There should not be any doubt in any MF’s mind that this Zambian team got lucky during that AFCON, catching us at the last minute of that game when there was not enough time to equalize.

    If anyone think Ghana is going to loose to that team again, then that person or persons must be dreaming. Who ever wrote this nonsense should have spent his time cheering the Black Star up rather than questioning at this crucial time. This is not the time to sow seeds of doubt in the mind of the Ghana public with this idiotic piece.

    Ghana will not loose this game, infact I will go on a limb to say the game will be over by half time. This is how much confidence I have in our team. The players that will be fielded will not be the type as Asamoah Gyan who cannot create. Atsu and Adiya are very creative and fast and could unravel the Zambian defense with raw speed upfront.

    Go Ghana Go

    • casimiro suse says:

      my pal, zambia is zambia we are African champions. Let me remind you of this; zambia have had no problems beating Ghana look at statistics and you will see that.we eliminated you from 1988 olympics and we went to make aname for ourselves,we beat you in equatorial and made name for ourselves,now we have beaten you and is good for you are agood omen we always go further when we wire you.
      1996 we wired you in South Africa for third and fourth play off.
      Ghana vs Zambia? no problem Ghana is our wife we control her even in the kitchen.
      go zambia go!

  2. Alkadi says:

    100% revenge ofcourse, the fact is Zambia simply cant beleive their lack at the Afcon and simply cannot get out of their frenzy, against an apsurge black stars they will crumble like rotten potatoes

  3. Nana kwamena Samerankan Tetteh says:

    Game time in United States time

  4. GH FUO, THINK BIG!!! says:

    ZAMBIA WILL SWEAT CHIPOLOLO BULLETS! THEY HAVE NO ISEA. PUT A MAN IN JAIL FOR 10YRS WITH NO SEX, AND THEN WHEN HE COMES OUT U GIVE HIM HALLE BERRY N THIS IS WHAT GH WILL DO TO ZAMBIA!
    GH MUST PLAY THE STRICT MOURINHO COUNTER ATTACK. IN THE LAST 7 MINUTES OF EACH HALF, OPEN THE GAME UP. UTILIZE UR WINGERS AND FAST STRIKERS, AND GH WILL SURELY HAVE THIS WRAPPED UP BEFORE HALF TIME. GH 3, ZAMBIA 1…CONSOLATION GOAL!

  5. nana kwasi says:

    Folks!! Can someone plse give me links to where i can watch the match online?? help!!!!! cant afford to miss my favorite BS.

  6. prime says:

    Will the match be broadcast live? if yes, when?

  7. Chipolopolo Fan.... says:

    Mojahadine… u sink so low insulting. why the hell are u panicking if you are sure u will beat zambia? i can assure you, zambia is beating ghana and even yo fucking coach knows. we dont use black magic in zambia therefore it will always be difficault for DIRTY ghana to play a christain team like zambia! mwanyaaa bakosweee…… tulemiponana lelo!

    • Africanus says:

      God and the gods do the play football. If that were the case we will have pastors and high priests as coaches. So weather you are a Christian, Muslim use magic or juju it does not matter. The best, well prepared and determined team will win at the end of 90 minutes. No need for insults from both sides. One Love

    • Alkadi says:

      Zambia (Christian nation) – 1 Afcon tropfy
      Ghana (What ever nation)- 4 afcon trophyies
      2 under 17 WC trophies
      1 Under 20 WC tophy
      Senior WC quaterfinalist
      If u realy know ur left n wright u will hide under ur bed and never comeout to talk football.

      • full tym ZED says:

        Past glory can not determine the future that is why the God we worship does not dwell in past glory.That is why it is hard for you or any person who is like you to excel in life.We are creating glory and it will be day by day.Its a goallllll

  8. [...] post: Ghana Vs Zambia: Repeat Or Revenge?Next post: Ghana Premier League Goal King Baffour To Sign For [...]

  9. OK BOY says:

    @Chipolopolo fan, You mean Zambia is a Christian Nation than Ghana, I bet you lie, I see no insult to Zambia by Mojahadine, So better watch out your stinking mouth next time. Have you been in Ghana before? Please try to be there first before insult an innocent Country and Her People like that. That fucking coach you are talking about will show you what is soccer this afternoon. ONYIBO COACH vs AFRICAN COACH right? Lets see. That your clean Gambia will be dirty today. IDIOT.

  10. red says:

    what is the kickofftime in uk and please any links to the match….plsssss

    • JAL says:

      Ghana is having the same time with the UK. both country are on the Greenwich but also Ghana is on the equator so that makes Ghana the center of the world.
      The point is at Tema

  11. John Chinena says:

    Hey you guys seem not to know Zambia well. Zambia never loses at home. Your team is in Zambia to loose, nothing else. Your team will loose by a big magine that you will have to look for another coach again. Get it.

  12. Papa says:

    Ghana will be shocked this afternoon. Wake up and smell the Coffee! Zambia are the Champions! You keep saying you dominated Zambia and it was by luck that Zambia beat you at Afcon. Football is not about possession, but having the right tactics and scoring goals. Zambia had the right tactics and most importantly scored the goal. History will repeat itself today.

  13. KK11 says:

    Too much boasting and over confidence Ba Ghana,thats why mulushila ba makaka.

  14. Phiri p says:

    Zambia 1-0 ghana so repeat, ghana only had 1 shot on taget!

  15. KK11 says:

    What a pity,its a repeat,hahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. 87ybbew says:

    Repeat… Ghana, you may have to accept. You really want us in accra to prove?

  17. zagga swagga says:

    ghana has lost to zambia again! So you call this luck again? No way! Go copper bullets chipolopolo!

  18. kci says:

    Zambia is a tactful team. When in accra we will be watching u. One chance the game sealed

  19. Tapiwa says:

    Hey bloggers, lets not insult each other….this is just a game…..n remember God is for all. i hate insults n i believe we are all adults.

  20. zambian says:

    well the result is ghana o zambia 1.. itgs football let us learn from our mistakes.. i salute niiayitey29@gmail.com because he gave accurate likely result on both sides and there… let us not insult i believe football is football ghana is ghana and zambia is zambia god be wtih you all