Zambia out of U23 AFCON as Simukonda is disappointed

The Zambia under 23 national football team has crashed out of the ongoing 2015 junior Africa cup of nation’s tournament in Senegal.

And U23 national football team coach Fighton Simukonda was left disappointed after he witnessed a second half capitulation of his team to lose 3 – 2 against South Africa at the Caf U23 Africa Cup of Nations.

The junior Chipolopolo boys lost 3-2 to regional rivals South Africa in the second group (A) game played on Tuesday.

The Zambians raised false hopes in the first half after Conlyde Luchanga scored a volley in the 35th minute to end the first half in their favour.

And U23 national football team coach Fighton Simukonda was left disappointed after he witnessed a second half capitulation of his team to lose 3 – 2 against South Africa at the Caf U23 Africa Cup of Nations.

The U23 Chipolopolo took the lead on 34 minutes through Conlyde Luchanga but South African duo of Menzi Masuku and Gift Motupa scored in quick succession to take a 3-1 lead on 54 minutes.

Masuku equalised in the 46th minute and five minutes later, Motupa gave South Africa the lead when he headed past Nsabata from Mngonyama’s flick following a corner delivered by Keagan Dolly.

Motupa completed his brace two minutes after his first goal with Masuku providing the assist.

Zambia pulled a goal back on 72 minutes through Billy Mutale but never recovered to find the equaliser.

“I am very disappointed with the performance of our team. We played so well in the first half and I thought we were going to finish them off in the second half. Unfortunately things did not go our way,” Simukonda said.

“We came here to make it to the semi-finals but luck was not on our side. But we shall stick with our plan of doing well at this tournament so against Senegal we will not take the things lightly. We just have to win the last game.”

And defender Benson Sakala told fazfootball.com that the focus was now on salvaging Zambia’s pride in the formality match against hosts Senegal.

“It is a very disappointing defeat. We did our very best in the first half and in the second half we slept a little bit and we were punished. It’s the name of the game; we still have a lot to do. We have lost but in the next match we shall play for pride and we shall give our all,” said Sakala.

Zambia, who cannot qualify for the semi finals, play Senegal on Friday. Senegal cruised to a 2 – 0 victory over Tunisia to stay top of Group A standings with 6 points.

South Africa and Tunisia are level on 3 points and will battle it out for second place in Mbour.

This is Zambia’s second loss at the tournament after they went down 2-1 to Tunisia on Saturday.

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