and Bruno Mugooda
LIKE students seating exams of an inferior class, Zambia have vowed to make an easy meal of the 35th CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup edition.
After coach Renard Herve watched champions Sudan and Kenya draw at Bugembe, he confidently said â€œtechnically, our team is the best in this group. We can make it to the final.â€
A brace from Given Singuruma and a third goal from Jonas Kakuwaha against Djibouti had earlier given the guest side an emphatic start to tournament start.
Herve insisted they could have won by an even bigger margin if Bugembeâ€™s uneven turf hadnâ€™t deterred their passing game. â€œThis pitch is like a grazing ground. It should be watered,â€ he complained.
The Frenchman could be dismissed as being too cocky. Thatâ€™s until you remember that the last time the Chipolopolo (Bullets) featured in the competition in 2006, they finished top.
After outwitting Sudan 11-10 in the final, they were only denied the $30,000 winnersâ€™ prize by their guest status.
Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi left CECAFA opting for COSAFA in 1994.
As Singuruma tore to pieces the Djibouti defence he showed flashes of other Zambian greats like Godfrey Chitalu and Alex Chola, who died in the 1993 tragic plane crash where an entire Zambian team perished.
In the Bugembe pavilion to witness the Singurumaâ€™s colour was another Zambian great Kalusha Bwalya.
As the day progressed, so did the goals. All Zambiaâ€™s goals were in the first half. Not even 2007 top scorer Sudanâ€™s Abdulhamid Amari could find the net.
Kenyaâ€™s towering second half substitute Francis Ochieng proved a thorn in aerial play but that crucial last touch still proved elusive.
The complaint in the stands was all about sodas. Crown Beverages, producers of Pepsi Cola, were recently unveiled as sponsors with a promise of a bottle of soda for everyone in the stadium. The only sodas in the stadium were however to everyoneâ€™s surprise on sell.
Zambia vow to win CECAFA cup