Chilumba upbeat despite opening draw

Zambia coach Tennant Chilumba is staying very calm despite kicking off their COSAFA Under-17 Championship title defence with a draw on Thursday.

The 2017 competition winners were held to a 0-0 draw by Mozambique in their opening Group B fixture at St Francois Xavier.

Chilumba admitted that Mozambique made life difficult for them with memories still fresh of the two sides last meeting at the same stage in 2017 that the Young Mambas won 1-0.

“It is a better result for us, of course we are defending champions, and we wanted to win this match,” Chilumba said.

“But looking at the way both teams played, I thought Mozambique was a good side and we defended well against a tactical team.

“We wanted to get a winning goal but a draw is not a bad result for us but the next game is a must-win.”

Zambia must now beat Lesotho in their penultimate Group B match on July 22 to ignite their push for semifinal qualification with record two-time winners South Africa looming over the horizon in their final pool match on July 24.

Meanwhile, Chilumba and his charges have an opportunity to do a little reconnaissance on both their forthcoming opponents who meet on July 20 in their opening Group B match.