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Goal explains why the Chipolopolo player should see the continental tournament as an opportunity to get his shaky career back on track
It’s fair to say that Lazarous Kambole has had a somewhat slow start to his career at Kaizer Chiefs.
The forward signed from Zesco United of Zambia before the start of the 2019/20 campaign, but Amakhosi has yet to see the best of him.
Kambole had plenty of opportunities to impress in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) last season by then Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp.
However, the Zambia international struggled to adjust to his new environment and the speed of the game at PSL.
The man nicknamed Lazi made 17 appearances in all competitions and scored once, in the 1-1 draw against Stellenbosch in August 2020.
Lazi breathed a sigh of relief after scoring his first goal in South African soccer and started the next game against the Mamelodi Sundowns as the Chiefs battled for the PSL title.
However, Kambole did not seize the opportunity as he was substituted during the halftime break and Amakhosi went on to succumb to a 1-0 loss to Sundowns.
Some Chiefs fans began to doubt whether Kambole was still the same player who made headlines across the African continent after breaking a Caf Champions League record in 2018.
Lazi scored a hat-trick in five minutes in a Champions League match against Eswatini’s giants, Mbabane Swallows, at the Mavuso Sports Center in Manzini.
Caf later confirmed the hat-trick of the former Kabundi Young Stars player as the fastest on record in the history of Africa’s most prestigious club tournament.
Kambole finished second in the race for the Champions League Golden Boot award after hitting the back of the net seven times in the competition.
Lazi was also very influential in helping Zesco reach the group stage and is now back in the tournament with a different club, Chiefs.
The Lusaka-born player has found playing time difficult under Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt so far this season, having made three appearances in all competitions without scoring.
However, Hunt showed some faith in Kambole in the Champions League preliminary round first leg against Cameroonian team PWD Bamenda last month.
The former Konkola Mine Police player helped the team secure a 1-0 win in Limbe and it remains the last victory for the Chiefs in all competitions.
Amakhosi will now face CD Primeiro de Agosto in the first round of the Champions League, the first leg on the FNB on Wednesday.
Hunt is very likely to give Kambole another shot with underperforming Leonardo Castro, causing the team to miss out on six PSL games.
The Colombian center forward has failed to score in his last six competitive games and Hunt could look to Kambole, who is a proven scorer on the continent.
Kambole should see this as a golden opportunity to impress the veteran coach and cement his place in the starting lineup, which would be the perfect platform for him to finally establish himself as a key player in the Chiefs.