Holders Zambia have sent a reminder to their rivals of their quality ahead of the 2017 Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships with an emphatic 6-0 victory over a Chilanga Youth Select XI.
Zambia, who are also African champions and performed superbly at the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea, have been hard at training for the defence of their regional title and the work appears to be paying off for Coach Mumamba Numba.
He has brought through many of the players that claimed the 2017 COSAFA Under-17 Championships in Mauritius, including leading forward Lameck Banda.
Banda netted a hat-trick against the Chilanga Youth Select XI, to go with goals for Harry Milanzi, Clinton Lubula and Evans Chisenga.
Banda in particular will be able to use the COSAFA Under-20 Championships to further enhance his reputation with the eyes of scouts on the tournament, just as the likes of Fashion Sakala and Patson Daka did in South Africa last year.
Numba has engineered an overhaul of the Under-20 side as players move up through the age-groups to ensure Zambia is ready for the 2019 African Under-20 Championships that is scheduled to be played in Niger.
Numba is likely to name his final squad on Friday.
Zambia have been drawn in Group A at this year’s championship along with Swaziland, East African guest nation Uganda and Malawi.
They open their campaign against the Ugandans at the Arthur Davies Stadium on December 6, before a clash with Malawi at the same venue two days later.
They will close their pool play with a fixture against Swaziland at the Nkana Stadium on December 11, with just the top team in each group advancing to the semifinals, along with the best-placed runner-up.