Zambia vs Zimbabwe 3pm SS9/RTV
Group D action of CHAN 2016 finals gets underway on Tuesday with two matches. Zambia will be up against Zimbabwe in the early kick-off which will be followed by the clash between Uganda and Mali at Umuganda Stadium in Rubavu.
Zambia will play their neighbours of Zimbabwe in the first game of the group—the 7th match of the 4th African Nations Championship that started on January 16 and will end on February 7.
Zambia are the only side in the group to have featured in the tournament only once before, and that was at the inaugural edition in 2009 in Ivory Coast where they finished as bronze medalists, while Zimbabwe are the only side in the group, who have been at all CHAN finals tournaments since 2009.
Head-to-head between the two countries, Zambia have an upper hand over Zimbabwe. In the last 44 meetings since 1980, Zambia won 15 times, Zimbabwe have won 7 and both sides drew on 22 occasions.
In another highly anticipated clash in a group devoid of underdogs, Uganda will take on Mali, two teams that have been to the finals twice in 2011 (Sudan) and 2014 (South Africa).
Both teams have little history between them in terms of past meetings, and will be meeting in CHAN for the first time.
Uganda and Mali have only met twice before and the West Africans humiliated the East Africans 5-1 on both occasions in July and November of 1965.
Meanwhile, Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic will be without the suspended duo of midfielders Ivan Ntege and Hassan ‘Dazo’ Wasswa.
Wasswa was sent off in the Cranes last qualifier game against Sudan in Khartoum, while Ntege accumulated two yellow cards in the two legs.
“Although we respect Mali, we are ready to give our best because we need a good start in the tournament,” said the Serbian born coach, who maintains that his target is to make sure the team qualifies for the knock out stage.
“After failing to make it at the 2011 and 2014 tournaments, we now want to improve and get to the knock out stage of the tournament. “I am happy with the dedication of the players and we are looking forward to our opening match against the opponents we respect,” added the former Amavubi coach.
Micho will look to skipper Farouk Miya, who was voted Uganda’s 2015 Footballer of the year and leads the scorer’s charts for the team in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers with three goals.