However, just days after that success, Bonetti was fired by the Football Association.
The new man at the helm is Herve Renard, who took Zambia to the last tournament in 2008.
Renard has a squad with a sprinkling of experience in European football, something that could give them the edge ahead of their group rivals.
Players to watch out for:
Despite being just 21 years old, Mayuka is seen as one of Zambia's key squad members. The Young Boys striker has scored a number of vital goals for the Swiss club. He has previous experience at the finals, having played in 2008 aged just 17.
Katongo has a reputation as a pacey winger with an eye for goal. The 29-year-old, who has been handed the captaincy for this tournament, is seen in his homeland as a natural leader following his experience in the military.
Previous best: Runners-up 1974 and 1994
Odds to win outright: 40/1
Sports Mole says: Quarter-finals