How Zambian Player Rated Against Japan

A seven-goal blitz is what Zambia’s encounter against Japan will most be remembered for under 36-year-old coach Patrice Beaumelle. The Frenchman deployed a 4-3-2-1 formation to give five-time World Cup finalist Japan a good send to the Brazil 2014 tournament. While his side could have easily won the match at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, they opted to give away a comfortable 2-0 lead and even when they could have walked out with a decent 3-3 draw, they still fell behind 4-3 at full time. There is no reason Zambia, based on their display, should have lost the game but they did and made it was Beaumelle’s sixth defeat at the helm of Chipolopolo where he has won five and drawn once in nearly 12 months. A missed opportunity for sure and here is how bolazambia rated the team.

Toaster Nsabata – how he made the starting line up ahead of a much more experienced Joshua Titima is only for coach Beaumelle to convincingly explain but his performance was a mess. From his first to the last touch, the Nchanga Rangers shot-stopper was full of blunders but Beaumelle believes his performance was affected by the aerial collision with Japan’s Yoichiro Kakitani. The fourth goal Zambia conceded could have been stopped by even a Coca-Cola schools goalkeeper. For his presence in goal only. 210.

Jimmy Chisenga – the Red Arrows defender had a decent shift as a right-back making a few inroads in the Japanese area. His contribution to Christopher Katongo’s opener which was flicked on by Emmanuel Mayuka was the biggest statement for him. 610

Emmanuel Mbola – should have been a little more steady not to concede the penalty when Zambia led 2-0. He made a few runs on the left but his deliveries were not top notch. He contributed to a defence that conceded four goals when they should have not. 4.510

Kondwani Mtonga – the towering Zesco United star is a traditional defensive midfielder with the ability to zoom forward but was this time around thrust at the heart of the Zambia defence with Stophilla Sunzu. He perhaps needs more time to jell with Sunzu but he did not disappoint and helped keep Japan’s Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda for most parts of the first half at bay until things crumbled beyond the 70th minutes. 510.

Stophilla Sunzu – he was a darling in defence winning most of the aerial balls and showcased a lot of maturity with the sliding tackle but will share a portion of blame in the number of goals Zambia conceded. For keeping Kagawa and Honda at bay for most parts of the match, he remains the surest leader of Zambia’s defence. 710.

Nathan Sinkala – the goal he scored had some shades of the one he poked in against Ghana when Chipolopolo traveled to Kumasi for the World Cup qualifier but lost 2-1 last year. He is one midfielder the team still dearly needs and showed some flashy authority. Controlled the ball well in midfield and made good square and direct passes forward which were not successfully utilized. 7.510

Chisamba Lungu – his trickery, dribbling skills and incisive passing complemented Chipolopolo. It was his witty corner kick that gifted Sinkala with a perfect connection for the second goal. There is no doubt in him lies the future of Chipolopolo. He was one of the best players on the night showing he enjoyed himself and was comfortable switching wings with Felix Katongo. One wonders why he was replaced. 8.510.

Isaac Chansa – not at his best but the Zanaco showed what experience and maturity can do when he helped hold the midfield together. However, his lack of creativity would have made Beaumelle and many a soccer fan miss the presence of Rainford Kalaba who in that game could have made a kill of Japan’s composition. He was duly substituted. 510.

Emmanuel Mayuka – started as the sole striker in Beaumelle’s formation but struggled to find the net and break through the Japan defence. He made random runs most of which did not yield anything significant. He perhaps still needs more game time to rediscover his goal-scopring form but thanks for the touch on to Christopher to provide the winner. 510.

Christopher Katongo – calls for his retirement are still ripe but the decent shift he had justifies the decision for him to stay on. That beautiful opening goal should give him the reason to soldier on though there is still need for him to polish his accuracy in the evenings of his career. The captain accounted for a good number of chances that either went over the bar or zoomed wide. 7.5

Felix Katongo – sometimes referred to as ‘Jet Lee’ for his acrobatic aerial tussles, the Green Buffaloes winger started off brilliantly but phased off along the way. His efforts were among the few that first tested Japan goalie Shusaku Nishikama. It was his effort that resulted in the corner that Chisamba Lungu delivered for Sinkala to crack that second goal but overall he still has to re-discover his form. 510.

Coach Patrice Beaumelle – the 4-3-2-1 formation he deployed worked very well in the first half when the Japanese concentrated on Mayuka leaving Christopher Katongo with free space to roam their defence and produce the first goal. But why he started with Nsabata ahead of Titima is a question even he himself could not provide convincing answer. He could not read the game better and has a lot more work to do in future to safeguard his reputation which he could have easily helped against Japan but haplessly watched as his boys gave away a potential historic win. Still, he put up a competitive team for Japan’s World Cup send-off. 710.


Jacob Mulenga – Not rated.

Lubambo Musonda – a young boy with vision and purpose. He provides hope Chipolopolo has a future in the Under-20 he captains and the scorcher he scored was enough to seal a permanent place for him at senior level. 810.

Adrian Chama – Not rated.

Joseph Musonda – Not rated.


Source : Zambia Reports

Leave a Reply