IT may not have been in Bethany but Orlando stadium on Sunday night witnessed a ‘rise from the dead moment’. Not one provided by a touch of divinity but one with a calm inside-the box finish provided by good positioning, awareness and placement.
Lazarus Kambole finally scored and it was a typical goal poacher’s finish.
For a striker, goals count as life and for one that had not scored in over a year, Kambole would have been considered lifeless at Kaizer Chiefs until he found the back of the net on Sunday in a League Match against Stellenbosch FC having come off the bench for the title chasing Chiefs.
His Martha this time around had been the millions of both general Zambian fans and indeed Chiefs’ who had long waited for his ‘return from the dead’ with hope. The moment arrived and social platforms were buzzing with the news and terms such as finally and at long last proving very common in the posts and exchanges.
It took long to come but history says in 2015, he scored his first goal for Zesco United FC in round 25. This for chiefs has come in round 26 and since he went on to plunder more goals after such a slow start at Zesco, if history is to be relied upon, it may be safe to say Lazarus Kambole is back!
Frankly, the level of expectations on the striker were warranted given the talent possessed and the record that preceded his move to Chiefs. A proven goal scorer, provider of assists and general match influencer, the weight of expectation was fair and having arrived with a massive hype, it may have even weighed down the player.
Earlier this year when the pressure was mounting, I wrote on my blog the need for him to keep working and use his opportunities when they are given as I thought once one goal comes, a lot more may follow as he may express himself much freely and go about his business in expected fashion. My thoughts now aren’t too far from what I had back then.
Ideally that goal scored, should take some weight off him, be able to give him a bit more confidence which is crucial for any striker and most importantly remind him that it’s possible.
Additionally, Kambole’s goal having come after a long period of grit and endurance of a lot from doubters must give hope and help switch on a few more Zambian players abroad especially those part of the Chipolopolo or those on the peripherals.
His attitude has ever been positive and even when not fancied by the coach, he has been showing hunger and anger to succeed whenever chances have been given.
The next step will be scoring with more regularity as it will help him wrestle and secure a starting position if he has to make a mark on this Chiefs side that had been desired from the beginning.
On the other side, the case of the three Zambians at Orlando Pirates for example is of concern. From being key figures in a team to struggling to even make the match day squad in the case of Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga and from being Super League most valuable player to not even being considered in the case of Austin Muwowo should pain everyone especially the players themselves.
Granted, there may be non-football issues for one and football issues for some but one will hope they take a leaf from Kambole to keep working hard, be at their best in terms of attitude and force their way into the coaches plans.
It still remains about rising above challenges from different ends and crucially about utilizing chances once given.
If Zambia’s hope and push for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) slot is to be revived successfully with the qualifiers set to return in November, key players and those pushing for key roles must be playing actively every week that’s the surest way of gaining and maintaining form without which AFCON qualification may prove a bridge too long to cross.
For now, its congratulations to Kambole for breaking the ice and giving hope to many.