ZAMBIA begins her quest for a place at the Morocco 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a clash against Mozambique in a match that will see the Chipolopolo seeking to continue their dominance over the Mambas.
This Group F opener to be played at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola will be coach Honour Janza’s first competitive match at the helm of the Chipolopolo since taking over from Frenchman Patrice Beaumelle last month in an interim capacity.
Having seen his charges trounce Sudan 3-1 in an International friendly at the newly built Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka last Sunday, Janza is targeting maximum points to ensure the team starts on a high.
Janza will also be out to preserve Zambia’s record against Mozambique that sees the Mambas still without a win over the Chipolopolo in the last 13 meetings.
“We cannot dwell on past glory but have to go into this game with the aim of picking up the maximum points. We cannot afford to underrate Mozambique because the fact that they qualified to the group stage, means they are a better side.
The squad is fully prepared for this encounter and I think we must win this game at all costs going in to the next match against Cape Verde,” Janza said.
The latest meeting between these two sides was at the 2013 Council of Southern African Football (COSAFA) Senior Challenge quarterfinal stage at Nkana stadium in Kitwe with the hosts winning 3-1.
Janza, however, faces the tough test of coming up with a starting 11 after the local players impressed in the demolition of Sudan starting in goal where Danny Munyau shone but first choice Kennedy Mweene should get the nod.
In defence Janza has Stopilla Sunzu who should partner with Christopher Munthali with the likes of Chisamba Lungu and Emmanuel Mbola likely to make the solid defence to provide necessary cover.
Midfield maestro Rainford Kalaba was impressive in the Sudan match as captain of the side and along with Nathan Sinkala should marshal in the midfield and depending on Janza’s formula.
Donashano Malama, Mukuka Mulenga and youngster Larry Bwalya are other options in midfield.
Upfront Jacob Mulenga and Emmanuel Mayuka might start with Given Singuluma likely to be relegated to the flanks while Collins Mbesuma is another good option for Janza along with Christopher Katongo.
Mozambique coach Joao Chissano said the Mambas were aiming at halting Zambia’s superiority.
Chissano, who guided the Mambas to the group stage of the qualifiers at the expense of Tanzania, who they beat 4-3 on aggregate will be looking forward to captain Dario Khan, Josemar Machaisse and Elias ‘Dominguez’ Pelembe to deliver a win.
“I know this game will be tough for us but we are not giving in easily because we are here for a positive result,” Chissano said.
Times of Zambia