Black Stars test crisis-hit Zambia
Posted on: 2012-Jun-08        
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Four months after Zambia put paid to Ghana's hopes of lifting the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations by winning the semi-final showdown and going on to win their first continental title, the two sides meet again.

Memories of their last meeting will still linger but will have little or no effect on what transpires in their second meeting this year.

Both sides are meeting in the Group D clash of the African qualifiers of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Ndola on Saturday.

But the two sides enter the game at the new Levy Mwanawasa Stadium with contrasting tales after their opening group matches.

While Ghana prepared in South Africa after their 7-0 thumping of Lesotho, Zambia find themselves embroiled in a series of potentially distracting off-field rows following their defeat to Sudan in the other group game.

However, Black Stars coach, Kwesi Appiah, who took his side to South Africa to prepare for the game expects the Chipolopolo to be up for the challenge.

“Zambia are the African champions, and they are playing on their home ground, so it’s stands to reason it will not be easy,” the Black Stars coach said ahead of the game.

“We have prepared well, we are in good spirits but we know that Zambia are deserved of their title as African champions and that they have very good players. We will have to play as well as we can if we are to achieve what we want to do – and that is to get a win.”

Zambia coach Herve Renard insists there is no crisis as they host their first home match since winning the Nations Cup title.

“The squad is working hard like they did during the African finals. When you see the players train, there is nothing that has changed.”

The game in Ndola is one of the 20 qualifiers being played across Africa for a second successive weekend.