Zambia U20 ready for battle against Malawi, tomorrow
Lusaka, August 15th, 2014, ZANIS — Zambia U-20 men’s national football team coach Hector Chilombo has declared war on Malawi as his charges take on their junior counterparts in the first leg of the third qualifying round of the 2015 Senegal African Youth Championship, tomorrow, Saturday.
Since arriving on Wednesday Chilombo’s men have had three training sessions, once at Surestream Stadium and twice at the Kamuzu Stadium.
ZANIS sports reports that this is according to a statement by FAZ Communication manager Nkweto Tembwe, this evening.
"We are happy with the playing surface because it is similar to the one at Independence Stadium. So when we walk on to the pitch tomorrow it will be total war; we have good relations with Malawi but friendship will come only after the match. We have come here to win," Chilombo said.
Chilombo is likely to employ a 4-4-2 formation which worked well over two legs against Mozambique in which the junior chipolopolo scored four times without conceding any goals.
In the absence of skipper Lubambo Musonda who signed for an Armenian side early in the week, Langson Mbewe of Kabwe Warriors has been named captain of the side.
Saith Sakala is likely to lead the attack along with Patrick Ngoma while the midfield may feature Langson Mbewe, Spencer Sautu, Larry Bwalya and Kelvin Chinyama although Charles Zulu and Austin Muwowo are strong contenders for a starting place.
Kayawe Kapota is likely to partner Alex Mwamba in central defence ahead of Simon Tembo and Paul Phiri.
Boyd Mkandawire and Peter Mulenga are expected to start at left and right back respectively.
Both goalkeepers Lawrence Mulenga and Mangani Banda have been excellent in training but the latter might be preferred to start due to his experience at the big stage.
Meanwhile the Malawi U20 team has not won at home in two qualifiers having drawn 1 – 1 against Botswana as well as Democratic Republic of Congo and Chilombo believes his team can exploit that as a weakness.
"Malawi have not played well at home. They have been doing well in away games so we want to take advantage of that and when they come to Lusaka, Lusaka is a difficult hunting ground for all teams; that is why am saying we will win it here," he said.
But Malawi U20 trainer Ernest Mtawali believes his team will carry the day. Mtawali’s key players will be goalkeeper and captain of the side Brightson Munthali, influential midfielder Ernest Tambe and top goal scorer Chawanangwa Kawonga who has contributed three out of the six goals scored by the Malawians in these qualifiers.
"The last time I watched Zambia was at the Cosafa U20 Youth tournament in Lesotho. They have a good team but I think we have a greater team. Of course it is not going to be easy," Mtawali said.
The second leg will be played at Nkoloma Stadium during the weekend of 29th to 31st August. The winner over two legs will qualify for the finals tournament to be hosted by Senegal in March 2015.