AFCON 2019: Could Chipolopolo have beaten Egypt the way Bafana Bafana did?

After seeing South Africa pull it off against the odds of defeating hosts Egypt in front of a huge crowd at the Cario coliseum, the result definitely got me thinking deep into what would have happened if it was my Chipolopolo (Zambia’s national football team) on the pitch instead?

To extrapolate my narrative here; All it takes at times is a little bit of sound tactical approach during the match and getting it right on the day. That’s because anyone surprised with the South African escapade in Cairo, should surge back memory lane on how a similar putsch in Nigeria was fashioned by Stuart Baxter’s side when the Bafana Bafana defeated the Super Eagles two nil in front of a baffled home crowd.

Again the South Africans appeared to baffle not just the neutrals putting witness to a result that beforehand was impossible to imagine or later alone bet on it, but that’s just what a coach with a bit of upgrade from the local coaches Chipolopolo is facing can achieve beyond the horizon of biased team selection that is mostly anchored on reputation rather than form, poor tactical set up or generally no real tactics worth crediting. Local Zambian coaches probably do have an idea of how to coach and what it takes to improve, but currently awfully apply themselves increasingly so in situations such as the match South Africa’s Bafana Bafana needed coach Stuart Baxter to get his strategy right and have his players respond on the occasion.

This would have been the difference with my beloved Chipolopolo on the scene of the action where South Africa against all odds defied the book makers, and the local gamblers to eliminate the Afcon hosts from the tournament. I don’t even want to imagine or envisage  a Beston Chambeshi led team on how the outcome might have been?….Who knows who might have just won the match 5-3 or 5-4?

Stuart Baxter just like he did such a fine job against Nigeria in the qualifiers might just be on the brink of achieving the impossible here with Nigeria their next opponents, but if his previous approach is anything to look back on, I don’t doubt it if it’s just another way of an English man trying to flatter with every possibility of striking gold!

South Africa has pulled off what I fear would have been an impossible act to see Zambia’s Chipolopolo managing in similar fashion with the current crop of local coaches in the technical dug out. There atleast lies the difference between the two Southern fierce rivals on such a competitive scale.


Featured image| Bafana Bafana versus Brazil friendly match, 5 Mar 2014 | Government ZA | flickr

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.

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