THE SAMUEL CHOMBA FACT-FILE
Written by Millennium on January 30, 2019
Continued from yesterday
Chomba’s Zambia career saw him make two African Cup of Nations (AfCON) appearances in 1990 and 1992.
In the 1990 Algeria-held tournament in which Chomba played in all five matches, Zambia emerged bronze medallists, having beaten Senegal 1-0 in the third play-off with Webster Chikabala scoring the all-important goal.
Zambia had earlier lost 2-0 to Nigeria in the semi-finals in Algiers through Uche Okechukwu and Rachid Yekeni’s goals.
In the group stage, in Zambia’s opening match, she beat Cameroon 1-0, Chikabala being the scorer whereas in the second, the Samuel Ndhlovu-tutored side won by a lone goal as well through Linos Makwaza – son to assistant coach Dickson – himself the captain-marvel who led his country to a silver medal in Zambia’s maiden AfCON appearance at the 1974 Egypt-staged showpiece.
Zambia drew 0-0 with Senegal in the third and last group stage match in the town of Annaba where the team was based.
The culmination of Chomba’s key contribution to Zambia’s exceptional performance was that he was one of the two Zambian players who made the final XI in the 1990 CAF Best Team of the Tournament.
The Algeria-dominated CAF team of the Tournament, in a 4-4-2 formation, had Antar Osmani (Algeria) as goalkeeper with fellow countryman Ali Benhalima, Andre Kana-Biyik (Cameroon), Arse Hobou (Cote d’Ivoire) and of course Chomba (Zambia), completing the flat-four defence.
The four-man midfield base had Djamel Amani (Algeria), Rabah Madjer (Algeria) and Moses Kpakor (Nigeria).
The two man forward-line had Zambia’s Chikabala and Algeria’s Djamel Menad, the tournament’s top-scorer with four goals.
By Chomba’s feat, he thus become, at the tie, Zambia’s second defender ever to be included in the CAF Team of the Tournament.
The first was Zambia Army’s (Green Buffaloes’) Dick Chama who made the 1974 CAF Best Team of the Tournament alongside Congo Brazzaville’s Dengaki, Zaire’s Boba Lobilo and Egyp’t Hany Moustafa in the traditional back four.
Since Zambia’s first appearance at the AfCON in 1974 through to 2015 – making it 17 appearances overall – Chomba is the only Kabwe Warriors’ player to have ever been included in the CAF Team of the Tournament – the crème de la crème team selected by the CAF’s Technical Study Group (TSG) at the end of every tournament of the continent’s greatest sporting event, selecting individual players as the best in their respective positions, based on their performances throughout the championship.
Other than Chama (1974) and Chomba (1990) being included in the CAF Best Team of the Tournament, three other Zambian defenders have since walked the same path: Harrison Chongo (1994), Elijah Litana (1996) and Stopilla Sunzu (2012).
Elsewhere, Chomba’s name is etched permanently in the CECAFA tournament for scoring two goals in two matches in the 1991 and 1992 editions.
In the 1991 Uganda-held CECAFA competition and won by Zambia, Chomba is well remembered for scoring in his country’s 3-2 group stage victory over Zanzibar, netting the winner in the 89th minute.
Zambia would go on and beat Sudan by the same score in the semi-final before thrashing Kenya 2-0 in the final with Mufulira Wanderers duo of Philemon Kaunda and Francis “Diego” Chisenga getting the goals on the afternoon of December 7, 1991 in the Kampala-held grand-finale.
Come the 1992 edition, Chomba scored yet again for country in another 3-2 win over Ethiopia in the group stage alongside Moses Chikwalakwala and Patrick “Bomber” Banda.
Chomba’s Zambia, after losing 4-2 on post-match penalties to Uganda after a barren draw in open play, found solace in thumping Malawi 4-0 in the third play-off with Kelvin Mutale and “Bomber” Banda sharing a brace each.
Chomba was also part of the Zambia squad to the 1988 Seoul Olympics as Samuel Nghlovu’s team humbled Italy 4-0 in the group stage.
Among Chomba’s Gabon Air Disaster colleague who also made the Seoul Olympics team were goalkeeper Efford Chabala, defender Eston Mulenga and the midfield twosome of Profund Warriors’ Derby Makinka and Power Dynamos’ Wisdom Chansa.
Chomba was married at the time of the plane crash. He was outlived by a wife and a daughter.