Former Chipolopolo captain Christopher Katongo has labelled the Zambia’s U23s that lost 3-1 to Nigeria’s Olympic Eagles on matchday-2, Group B, at the ongoing 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt poor and nonprogressive, Completesports.com reports.
Zambia shot into the lead through Patson Daka in the 11th minute, but Imama Amapakabo’s team fought back to win it 3-1 through goals by Orji Okonkwo (17th), Kelechi Nwakali (65th) and Taiwo Awoniyi (90th ±).
The result has left Zambia at the bottom of Group B on one point having played goalless with South Africa on matchday-1. They will face third-placed Cote d’Ivoire in their last group match on Friday.
Group leader South Africa who pipped Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 on Tuesday will clash with second-place team Nigeria also on Friday.
“A 3-1 loss for the U23’s
My summary: 1. We played badly. Our tactics were simply to pump the ball forward as quickly as possible,” Katongo tweeted on his Twitter platform.
“2. The ref blew for everything (against both sides). 3. Some of our players are worse than when they were U20. They have not progressed.”
Katongo also directed his sticks at the centre referee, Pierre Ghislain Atcho from Gabon, insisting his performance in the game was amateurish even if his calls were not aimed at aiding any side.
The official match statistics showed that Zambia committed 35 fouls while Nigeria had 28.
“Come on referee!! 64 fouls in a match??
It wasn’t a dirty game at all and both teams suffered at the whistle of a poor referee,” Katongo tweeted.
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