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Zambia - success story 2012


At the African Cup of Nations that ended in Libreville in 2012, the Zambian team not only broke the final expected by everyone between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, but also beat the "elephants" in the decisive match.


Oddly enough, both teams do not at all shine with a large number of continental titles, especially for the Ivorians, who were selected for the last two world championships and are now rightfully considered one of the two best teams on the Black Continent. Nevertheless, the “elephants” only once won the Africa Cup: back in 1996, the Ivorians in an epic penalty shootout (you must admit that the score of 11:10 cannot be called the usual one) deprived the Ghana national team of hopes for victory, with which, in fact, everyone expected to see Drogba and Co. in the final match.


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One day 20 years later


Interestingly, the last four African Cups were won by teams from the Muslim north of the continent: first, Tunisia beat Morocco, and then Egypt three times in a row rolled out the best representatives of black Africa - Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Ghana. This is despite the fact that the northerners rarely get to the world championships, they don’t grow serious players and seem to be inferior to their southern neighbors on the continent in all respects.


After that, the Zambians, who had already begun to be compared with the Greeks of the 2004 model, also beat Côte d'Ivoire in the final, winning the first continental trophy in their history. To do this, the opponents had to shoot as many as 18 post-match penalties, and the more experienced "elephants" could not stand their nerves: such bison as Kolo Toure and Gervinho (bypassed) did not realize their attempts.


The French specialist Herve Renard managed to rally these guys, taught them how to defend competently and quickly counterattack, not be afraid of formidable opponents and endure until the final whistle. All these qualities in African teams can be found even not every four years. Despite the fact that many of these guys play in the top European clubs, they do not like to plow the field as part of the national team. Too stellar…


Story from past


April 7, 1993 will forever remain in the memory of all the inhabitants of this country. On that day, the Zambian national team, led by Bwalia, flew to the 1994 World Cup qualifying match in Senegal. She flew in the status of the favorite of the entire cycle - then Zambia had a unique chance for the first time in its history to get to the world championship. That team had excellent players, behind them was the successful 1988 Olympics, in which the Zambians took first place in the group with Italy, Iraq and Guatemala, and the Azzurra were beaten 4-0, and Bwalia hit a hat trick in that match. In the quarterfinals, however, the Africans lost to the Germans with the same score, falling under the young Klinsmann, who tore Zambia's defense to shreds.


That year, Bwalia became the best football player in Africa, beating the no less legendary Roger Mill in the poll of coaches. In 1990, the Zambians took bronze at the African Cup, in 1992 they were stopped in the quarterfinals, but the team grew with each match and was already rightfully considered one of the best on the continent. And for sure she would have become if on April 27, 1993 she flew to Senegal. We now know how it happens.

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