KATIMA MULILO – It was all-night jubilation, ululation and the unleashing of celebratory gunfire as ecstatic Katima Mulilo residents formed a convoy at the town and joined their neighbours across the Zambezi River to celebrate Zambia’s thrashing of Ivory Coast to lift the AFCON Cup.
Katima Mulilo residents and Zambian residents at Katima Mulilo jointly celebrated Zambia’s historic victory over its much-fancied rivals to clinch the Africa Cup of Nations 2012 edition.
As if a premonition had alerted the fans about the imminent win, chants had started earlier before the final was even played both in Katima Mulilo and across the border in Sesheke, Zambia.
Many residents also phoned the NBC call-in programme to congratulate Zambia.
Expectant soccer fans raced across the streets with vehicles draped in Zambian colours with loud Zambian music, to mark the country’s victory with a win that has been welcomed across the entire SADC region over one of Africa’s most feared soccer sides that is star-studded.
Zambia proved soccer pundits wrong by first beating Ghana, another tournament favourite before it locked horns with Ivory Coast in Sunday night’s final by winning on a penalty shootout by 8-7. Local soccer analysts in Katima Mulilo were equally ecstatic.
Local soccer fan and soccer official, Ben Lumponjani, said, “I’m feeling very happy right now, like it’s Namibia which won, because these guys have made SADC proud. Other SADC countries in the competition like Botswana and Angola, exited the tournament, but Zambia stood firm.”
Lumponjani believes Zambia’s victory was as a result of cohesion, teamwork and planning.
“The 1993 team was much stronger, but Zambia has put in the youth who are united and positive.
“Apart from that they received support even from their president. That could be the reason why they were able to reach the final, it boosted their moral,” said Lumponjani.
Lumponjani believes, in the game of soccer a win could go either way, depending on planning.
“The game is all about planning. It depends on the coach. A lot of people thought Ivory Coast would win but in the end it was Zambia. Zambia is now the best football team in Africa because they took the cup,” said Lumponjani.
The Zambian team also received showers of praise on the social media network Facebook. Said one comment. “Zambia did SADC proud … from the studios to the soccer fields, what can one say?” Another one said, “today I’m sleeping on duty because of Chipolopolo, viva Zambia”.
Zambia clinched its first Africa Nations Cup in the Gabonese capital on a penalty shootout, after Kilo Toure and Gervinho of Ivory Coast both missed their chances of scoring.
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