U20 get heroes welcome

The U-20 National team were treated to a heroes’ welcome when they arrived from the FIFA World Cup where they recorded a historic quarterfinal appearance.

Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Lawrence Sichalwe was joined by fourth Republican President Rupiah Banda at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport to welcome the team when they disembarked from the Ethiopian Airlines flight at around 15:00 hours.

FAZ president Andrew Kamanga, fans groupings leaders Pastor Peter Makembo and Yotam Mwanza led hundreds of their members at the welcoming ceremony.

Hundreds of Lusaka residents lined up the Great East Road to welcome the lads and occasionally got a handshake and a smile as the procession went through Great East road through Cairo Road.

The parade proceeded through the Independence Avenue off Kafue Roundabout snaked into Burma Road before taking detour into Jacaranda Road and streamed into the University Teaching Hospital area before falling into the Longcres area.

As time wore on the party went into Alick Nkhata Road before pouring into Thabo Mbeki with East Park Mall being the final stop.

Later the lads were hosted to a welcome cocktail at Taj Pamodzi Hotel by FNB.

The African champions won many hearts at the FIFA World Cup with their aggressive style of play as they opened the tournament with a 2-1 win over Portugal before dispatching Iran via a 4-2 result.

In the final Group match they lost to Costa Rica 1-0 but later put a virtuoso performance as they dumped Germany 4-3 in a knockout round match that needed extra time to be decided.

In the quarterfinal clash Zambia fell to Italy 3-2 as they gracefully bowed out of the tournament.