Current African champions, Zambia, playing for the first time since they became kings of African football, were held to 0-0 by Angola in a practice match played at the Estadio 11 de Novembro on Wednesday, 16th May 2012.
This was the second time the two sides had played against each other under similar circumstances in the past six months. Their previous meeting was on 19th December 2011 in the Angolan city of Dundo as both sides prepared for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals. Angola won that match 1 - 0.
Zambia travelled to Luanda with a second string squad comprised mainly of players who play in the Zambia Super League and only five of those namely Kalililo Kakonje, Nyambe Mulenga, Felix Katongo, Evans Kangwa and were part of the team that triumphed in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Aaron Katebe and Felix Katongo were the only players who play outside Zambia with Aaron playing for Hwange in Zimbabwe while Felix plays in Angola.
Zambia started with a 4-4-2 formation with the Nkana FC duo of Evans Kangwa and Reynold Kampamba leading the line. Joseph Sitali, Rodric Kabwe, Thomas Nyirenda and Felix Katongo started in midfield while Nyambe Mulenga who was team captain on the day marshalled defence alongside Jimmy Chisenga, Charles Sinyingwa and Aaron Katebe.
Angola fielded a number of first team players and controlled much of the play but Zambia managed to absorb the pressure as the young players showed good character despite being under constant attack.
Angola made wholesale changes in the second half and pinned Zambia in their own half. Herve Renard made changes of his own as he withdrew Rodric Kabwe, Felix Katongo, Jimmy Chisenga, Reynold Kampamba and Evans Kangwa for Dennis Banda, Govenda Simwala, Steven Kabamba, Felix Nyaende and Chakwa Lungu. Substitute striker Chakwa Lungu was also withdrawn and was replaced by Kennedy Mudenda as Zambia adopted a more defensive 4-5-1 with Felix Nyaende playing as a lone striker being supported by his Power Dynamos teammates Joseph Sitali, Thomas Nyirenda and Kennedy Mudenda while Aaron Katebe anchored the midfield.
Coach Herve Renard was satisfied with the team's performance especially in the defence department but he believes offensively Zambia should have done better.
"These young players need to work extremely hard. They have a future in this team," said Renard.
Zambia played Angola in order to assess players who are on the fringes of the main national team as they prepare for Brazil 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Sudan and Ghana on 2nd and 9th June, 2012 respectively.