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Ducor Sports sheds light on Orlando Pirates star Justin Shonga

Orlando Pirates star Justin Shonga has undoubtedly been one of the stars in the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers so far.

Shonga scored the second goal for Zambia national team in their 2-1 win over Guinea-Bissau in Group K match played on Tuesday in Ndola.

Zambia took the lead in the 18th minute when Stoppila Sunzu netted a header after beating the onrushing goalkeeper but nobody was going to prevent Shonga from taking the glory. Just seven minutes after the half-time break he scored his second goal of AFCON campaign.

Shonga’s first goal in the qualifiers came on September in a match against Namibia where he scored a last-minute equalizer in the way of a stunning free-kick to earn the side a valuable point.

Former Platinum Stars striker Benson Shilongo had earlier scored for Namibia before Shonga denied them a win and three points.

In a friendly match that Chipolopolo played days later against Gabon, Shonga was the goalscorer as Zambia won 1-0 in Libreville.

Shonga is expected to take his form to the Premier Soccer League with the Pirates, but can he take Zambia all the way to Cameroon?

What do we know about Shonga?

Justin Shonga was born in November 1996, and is from Chipata, which is a small town the eastern part of Zambia. The highly sought-after striker originally started playing football at Smiling Kids Academy at the age of 12 before he moved on to Chipata Young Stars F.C.

It was not long before he was spotted and recruited to play for the Zambian national U-17 side. Since then, he played football for the Paramilitary and Police Academy, but it was with Nkwazi F.C. that he was called up to feature in the Zambian National Team. In 2017, the young and never-give-up “Bayer” joined Orlando Pirates on a three-year contract.

Is Shonga named after someone?

Justin is not a common name in the small city of Chipata and was chosen by his mum. He says that his mum named him after his father Justin Shonga senior, who played for Zambian Super League giants Zesco United.

“I had a dream of playing for Zesco, just like my father. It never materialized. Zesco wanted me to sign at some point. But I was under the police and the authorities couldn’t allow me to join them,” he revealed in an interview, after signing with the Buccaneers.

“I might not have been able to follow in my father’s footsteps by playing for Zesco but I have managed to do something even bigger, playing for one of the biggest clubs in Africa.”

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