Chipolopolo ready for Zebras

Zambia 2-0 Zimbabwe - Chipolopolo Cosafa Cup champions @ Levi Mwanawasa Stadium

ZAMBIA coach, Herve Renard yesterday received a clean health bill for the squad ahead of tomorrow’s crucial Orange 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Botswana.

With all the players available for selection, Renard declared his renewed vigour to secure qualification to the final round of CHAN qualifiers.

The Chipolopolo team medical staff declared all players including playmaker, Mukuka Mulenga, who missed the squad’s training match on Wednesday, fit for the clash against the Zebras at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

Team doctor, Joseph Kabungo said the team was injury-free and that the players were raring to showcase their potential.

On Mulenga, who trained on the sidelines as his colleagues were beating Division One North side, Premium Sports 6-2, Kabungo said there was nothing to worry about, assuring  the Zambians that the Power Dynamos midfielder was fit to play.

During yesterday’s afternoon session, Mulenga, who recently had a bruised right ankle, joined his team mates in full contact training and showed his usual flashes on the pitch.

Red Arrows midfielder, Bruce Musakanya, who sustained a groin injury during the recent COSAFA Senior Challenge Cup, was also in full flight and showed no signs of being in pain.

The players showed a lot of anger as they battled to win the hearts of Renard and his technical staff for the Botswana match.

After taking the players through their paces, Renard said the team’s focus now was to reach the final round of qualifiers and ultimately storm the 2014 CHAN finals in South Africa.

‘‘I’m now interested only in qualification,’’ a beaming Renard declared.

When told that his Botswana rival, Stanley Tshosane had dropped two players from the squad that played Zambia last Saturday, Renard jokingly said: ‘‘Maybe I will also drop two players.’’

The 2013 COSAFA Cup champions will just need to beat Botswana to secure passage to the final round where the Chipolopolo developmental squad will most likely face Zimbabwe for a place at the CHAN finals.

Botswana forced a 1-1 draw with Zambia, the 2009 CHAN bronze medalists, at Molepolole Sports Complex last weekend, while Zimbabwe trounced Mauritius 3-0.