The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFON) winning legends flashed back memories with their brilliant performances, thrashing Barcelona Legends 3-0 at a fully packed National Heroes Stadium.
Striker Collins Mbesuma, James Chamanga, and Clifford Mulenga scored a goal a piece for the Chipolopolo legends to send the entire stadium into a frenzy of celebrations.
Read more: Chipolopolo, Barcelona legends to thrill fans, as Heroes Stadium hosts exhibition match
From the word go, the Christopher Katongo-captained side took the game seriously showing the desire to flashback the 2012 AFCON memories with their passing style of play that matched the tiki-taka Barcelona kind of play to the amusement of the soccer fans that thronged the stadium.
The legends walked away with a trophy, gold medals, and unannounced money for each player that was part of the exhibition match that was aimed at marketing Zambia as a tourist destination.
Speaking during the post-match interview, assistant coach Honour Janza described the victory as sweet, adding it brought back memories of Zambia’s only AFCON triumph.
“It was a sweet and good game against Barcelona Legends. The guys showed that they still have something in their legs. It was an exhibition match and I think it lived up to the billing. Yes, it brought back some memories and it was good to see everyone in the stadium happy and cheering for both teams,” said Janza.
“As I said, Zambia has a lot to offer to the outside world in terms of football and tourism. I feel this game has motivated our youngsters who watched it. We took the game seriously and wanted to give Zambians a memorable game and we hope we delivered what they wanted to see”.
His Barcelona Legends counterpart, Albert Ferrer said his lads played well despite the loss.
“It was a good game and Zambia played well. We came here to have fun and create memories. I hope the Zambians enjoyed the game. The atmosphere was electric and gave us morale throughout the game. I mean Zambians are amazing people and we shall forever cherish the moments we had in the field of play”.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, Barcelona kicked off the proceedings through Ronaldinho but the Chipolopolo legends were first to threaten at goal with Felix Katongo being denied by the post after he had dribbled his way through before unleashing just after two minutes of play.
Flashes of skill and class could be seen in both sides even as striker Collins Mbesuma fired the Chipolopolo in front with a fine finish from close range when he bullied his way through past Giovani before unleashing to give Zambia the lead just after six minutes of play.
Goalie Kennedy Mweene was called to action to deny Patrick Kluvert from close range after he was set up by Ronaldinho in the eighth minute.
Isaac Chansa almost doubled the lead for the Chipolopolo Legends when he fired from long range but was denied by the crossbar with Felix Katongo’s rebound ruled out for a foul in the 17th minute.
Referee Janny Sikazwe then stopped the game after 24 minutes for a water break which lasted for about two minutes.
Kalu withdrew David Nkausu for Jonas Sakuhuwa while Felix Katongo and Christopher Katongo paved the way for James Chamanga and Clifford Mulenga respectively after 37 minutes of play.
Mweene was called to action to deny Saviola in the 40th minute after he had benefited from a Ronaldinho cross from the far right, who had dribbled past defender Joseph Musonda before releasing the ball.
A the start of the second half, Kalusha Bwalya was introduced with the crowds going into a frenzy of jubilation.
Chamanga had a chance to double the lead for Zambia but was denied by the upright in the 60th minute when had unleashed from close range after 60 minutes of play.
Substitute Chamanga doubled the lead for Zambia with a brilliantly taken strike from the edge of the box, when he chest-controlled the ball, turned to beat his marker, and unleashed with his right foot beating goalie Gudzman to the near post after 66 minutes.
The Great Kalu made his mark in the 84th minute when he turned to provide an assist to Clifford Mulenga who made a cool and calm finish from inside the box with a sweet left-foot chick goal after he had controlled the ball, turned to create some space before unleashing for Zambia’s third on the day.
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