By Yvonne Sakala – SOURCE : Times of Zambia
NATIONAL soccer team head coach, Herve Renard has dropped five players from the team that plays Zimbabwe in tomorrow’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier second round, first leg in Harare.
The five; Bernard Mapili, Frank Chibuye, Julius Situmbeko, Shaderick Malambo and Lubambo Musonda were part of the award winning Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Senior Challenge Cup final that the Chipolopolo won on July 20.
Renard has since brought in Roderick Kabwe and Boyd Musonda in the team that will take on the Warriors of Zimbabwe.
The five players were part of the squad that beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in the COSAFA Cup final played at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola last month.
National team assistant coach Masauso Mwale who released the names of the final squad after the morning training session at Independence Stadium in Lusaka said the technical bench decided to leave out the five players from the 25-member squad that was initially called to camp because of stiff competition in the team, but that the players will be considered for other future engagements.
“The coach has made a few changes to the team. We have dropped five players from the 25 players that were summoned and he replaced them with two players Kabwe and Musonda,” Mwale said.
The MTN-FAZ Premier Division side, Nkana mastermind, however declared the squad ready for the match, saying the players had put in a lot in training and declared a clean health bill.
Mwale predicted a tough clash against the Warriors especially that Zimbabwe would want to avenge for the defeat against the Chipolopolo during the COSAFA final in Ndola three weeks ago.
He said the coaching staff had done its homework and had not left any stone unturned for the game, adding that he was confident the players would record a positive result, come Sunday.
Mwale explained that the team was focused and working hard to win the game away so that it would be easier for the Chipolopolo to contain the Warriors at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola during the return leg.
The assistant coach said Zimbabwe was a good team and that they had cautioned the players against underrating them.
“The team is playing well; we just need to be more accurate at goal if we are to come out victors.
We know the game will be tough, but we have equally equipped ourselves for the task. Zimbabwe is a good team and they are playing well so even us we need to prepare well although it won’t be easy for us, we are sure we will come out with a positive result,” he said.
The team that left for Zimbabwe yesterday includes goalkeepers Danny Munyau and Joshua Titima; Jimmy Chisenga , Christopher Munthali, Kondwani Mtonga, Kabaso Chongo, Sydney Kalume , Fackson Kapumbu, Bronson Chama, Misheck Chaila, Boyd Musonda, Bruce Musakanya ,
Roderick Kabwe, Stanley Nshimbi, Brian Chewe, Festus Mbewe, Moses Phiri, Alex Ng’onga, Bornwell Mwape and Evans Kangwa.