zambia in the mood to shock

LUBANGO, Angola - Zambia are out to continue the tradition this Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) is fast gaining for producing shocks, against Tunisia in their Group D clash here today.

LUBANGO, Angola - Zambia are out to continue the tradition this Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) is fast gaining for producing shocks, against Tunisia in their Group D clash here today.

The match starts at 8.15pm.

Tunisia turned up in Angola wounded from missing out on a World Cup berth at the last throw of the qualifying dice.

The Carthage Eagles, who won the Afcon on home turf in 2004, led Nigeria for five World Cup qualifying rounds only to lose in Mozambique and be overtaken by a Super Eagles team that grabbed a late Nairobi triumph over Kenya.

Coached by local man Faouzi Benzarti, who was snapped up after being sacked by Libya, Tunisia are seeded to go through with group favourites Cameroon ahead of Zambia and Gabon.

But on evidence from the opening shots in this competition nothing can be taken for granted, with Angola letting slip a four-goal lead against Mali, Algeria falling to Malawi and Burkina Faso holding favourites Ivory Coast to a goalless draw.

Benzarti said: "As we have seen the first games are very difficult, even if Zambia are classed as 'outsiders'. We will have to be careful and concentrate on the game to get the first three points, which will be good for our team in the next two matches, especially against Cameroon who are the group's favourites."

Benzarti's men are out to better their last two quarter-final exits in the biennial African competition.

Their hopes of progressing in Angola will in part rest on playmaker Oussama "Picasso" Darragi.

Tunisia are making their 14th appearance in the Afcon, which puts them on a par with Zambia, whose best showings have been two runners-up spots in 1974 and 1994.

Zambia are skippered by Christopher Katongo, who knows a thing or two about the command structure from his time in the army.

He was promoted to sergeant after a devastating hat trick against South Africa in qualifying for the 2008 Afcon.

Today's programme starts with a confrontation between Cameroon and Gabon in Lubango at 5.50pm. - Sapa-AFP

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