of Zambia by mitia on 6/14/13
By FELIX MALUNGA –
WITH the euphoria of Zambia’s 4-0 bashing of Lesotho still lingering on, Chipolopolo captain, Christopher Katongo believes Sudan does not stand a chance to win the penultimate FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifier at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola tomorrow.
Katongo said while Sudan may try to frustrate Zambia’s World Cup aspirations, he does not think the Falcons of Jediane were capable of denting the Chipolopolo’s rich home record.
In an interview after yesterday’s training session, Katongo said the Chipolopolo would strive to preserve the unbeaten record at Levy Mwanawasa by collecting maximum points in this crucial Group D tie.
On Sudan’s vow to seek revenge after being docked three points for using an ineligible player in the earlier meeting between the two sides, Katongo said the North Africans should only blame themselves for failing to follow the rules of the game.
“There are rules everywhere. Sudan didn’t follow the rules by using a suspended player. I don’t think they mean it (revenge) to beat us here, but I am sure they are merely trying to intimidate us,” he said.
The 2012 BBC African Footballer-of the-Year said the Chipolopolo had a duty to make Zambians happy by winning tomorrow’s fixture.
“Everything is okay in camp. Everybody is excited about this match. What’s important is for us to play as a team and win. We need to make Zambian people happy,” he said.
Chipolopolo striker, Collins Mbesuma said the players were focused on the task at hand and decided to forget about last weekend’s massive triumph over Lesotho.
Mbesuma, who with Katongo contributed a goal each in the massacre of Lesotho, conceded that Sudan was a stronger opponent, but that the Chipolopolo were confident of a positive result.
He also said competition for places in the starting line-up was stiff as all the players were in top form for the assignment.
Mbesuma said he was also happy with the competition among strikers which he claimed was healthy for the team.
Coach Herve Renard took the team through their paces yesterday with most players looking lethal in front of goal.
The Chipolopolo warmed up for the Sudan assignment with a morale-boosting 4-0 win over MTN Premier Division League side, Lime Hotspurs on Wednesday.
Mbesuma scored a brace with Jacob Mulenga, who scored twice against Lesotho and Chisamba Lungu contributing a goal apiece.
And as a way of boosting morale, mineral water manufacturing company, Carribea Beverages yesterday donated 100 cases of water worth K1,650 to the team.
Company managing director, Ashu Sagar said Carribea wanted to support the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) in its efforts to ensure the Chipolopolo were adequately prepared for international assignments.
While congratulating the team for beating Lesotho last weekend, Sagar wished the Chipolopolo the best of luck tomorrow and appealed to other firms to partner with FAZ.
FAZ president, Kalusha Bwalya thanked Carribea for the gesture, saying it would help the Chipolopolo achieve its intended goals as the players also need replenishment apart from physical fitness for them to perform.
Zambia lead Group D on 10 points, one clear of Ghana, while Lesotho h