Chipolopolo fall short despite second-half fight in AfCON clash

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ZAMBIA’s dream of Africa Cup of Nations (AfCON) glory was dashed after a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful effort against Morocco.

Despite needing only a draw to progress, a first-half goal by Hakim Ziyech condemned the Chipolopolo Boys to a 1-0 defeat and an early exit from the tournament.

The first half saw a shaky Zambian side struggle to find their rhythm, with wayward attempts resembling rugby more than football.

However, a dramatic turnaround took place after the break. The Chipolopolo Boys emerged with renewed energy and precision, fighting tooth and nail for an equaliser.

Despite their valiant efforts, time, a hostile Ivorian crowd, and a resolute Moroccan defense proved insurmountable obstacles.

The final whistle blew with the score remaining 1-0 to Morocco, marking the end of Zambia’s AfCON journey.

While disappointment is prevalent, there are positive takeaways. President Hakainde Hichilema offered words of encouragement, urging the team to keep their heads high and “try again, and again and again.”

Young talents like Miguel Chaiwa, Lameck Banda, and Lawrence Mulenga showcased their potential, offering a glimmer of hope for the future.

Though the long wait for an AfCON trophy or a tournament win continues, the Chipolopolo Boys have demonstrated the potential for a brighter future.

The second-half fight and individual performances provide a foundation to build upon as the team aims to reclaim its past glory.

By Moses Makwaya

Kalemba January 25, 2024

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