Chipolopolo in Mozambique
The Zambia National Football Team has left for Mozambique, ahead on Sunday’s 2016 Rwanda CHAN return leg, final round qualifier.
The 20-man squad left the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at 07:10 hours for Maputo via Johannesburg aboard South African airways.
Zambia are expected to depart Johannesburg at 13:00 hours and arrive in Maputo Mozambique at 14:45 hours.
Mozambique will have to beat Zambia by four goals to NIL if they are to qualify for the championship.
Zambia, who go into the return leg with a 3-NIL advantage, last participated at the inaugural CHAN tournament in 2009 in Ivory Coast.
Coach George Lwandamina has dropped Red Arrows first Choice Goalkeeper Danny Munyao, Kennedy Mudenda, Kayawe Kapota, and Solomon Sakala.
And supersport reports that Lwandamina has warned his charges that they are nowhere near the 2016 Chan qualification finish line despite Saturday’s first leg home win over Mozambique.
Chipolopolo take a healthy 3-0 advantage from the final round, first leg match played on October 17 at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
A draw in Maputo this Sunday is all Zambia need to qualify to the Chan finals in Rwanda in January.
“We can’t bank on the game that we have already played, every game is different, those we have played and those that we have not played,” Lwandamina said.
“Mozambique can qualify, it is football, anything is possible but we are not saying we will be complacent.”
Zambia were made to work very hard for the vital home win over weekend that saw all three goals come in the final 15 minutes of the second half.
The last two goals came from second half substitutes after Winston Kalengo had put Zambia ahead in the 77th minute before Conlyde Luchanga and Spencer Sautu who replaced Festus Mbewe (68th minute) and Kennedy Mudenda (59th minute ) respectively completed the rout.
An away draw is all Zambia need in Maputo to qualify to the finals for the first time since 2009 when they finished third at the inaugural tournament hosted by Cote d’Ivoire.
And Midfielder Rainford Kalaba is backing his home-based colleagues to safely secure their qualification to the 2016 Caf African Nations Championship (Chan).
The Zambia captain and TP Mazembe playmaker, who watched the home-based team beat Mozambique 3-0 in the final round, first leg match last Saturday at home in Ndola, said the team must protect the advantage this Sunday in Maputo.
“I don’t see Mozambique beating us in the return leg, the Chipolopolo can win the return match and qualify to the Chan tournament,” Kalaba told The Times of Zambia.
“The job is not yet done and all they just have to do is to work hard and avoid complacency and put in a spirited fight like they did at Levy.”
Zambia have not qualified for the second tier Africa Cup tournament exclusively for domestic league players since the inaugural championship was held in 2009 in Cote d’Ivoire.
Chipolopolo tumbled on the final hurdle for the 2011 tournament following their elimination by South Africa and the 2014 event at the hands of Zimbabwe.
Zambia’s only participation in the Chan seven years ago saw them finish third.
Draws for the finals will be done in Kigali on November 18 for the tournament to be held from January 16 to February 7.
Meanwhile, Zambia midfielder Lubambo Musonda on Wednesday night helped put Gandzasar one foot into the semifinals of the 2015/2016 Armenian Cup.
Gandzasar beat defending champions Pyunik 3-1 away in a quarterfinal first leg match to take healthy advantage into the final leg decider at home on November 4.
Lubambo scored one goal in the 61st minute in-between team mate Narek Beglaryan’s brace in the 41st and 74th minute to see Gandzasar rally from one-down after Pyuink had taken the lead in the opening half-hour.
Meanwhile, there was no such joy for Lubambo’s Zambia Under-23 team mate and striker Ronald Kampamba on the same evening in Egypt on the opening day of the 2015/2016 season at Wadi Degla.
Wadi Delga kicked off the new campaign with a 2-0 away defeat to the defending champions Zamalek in Cairo.
There was more disappointment for Kampamba who did not play in the match as he begins his first full season at the Cairo club since joining them in the second part of the 2014/2015 campaign in January from record Zambian champions Nkana on a three-and-half-year deal.
Kampamba, who played 20 games and scored one goal in his first season in Egypt, was an unused substitute in the match.