Herve Renard substitutes injured Mukuka with Roderick Kabwe

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

NATIONAL soccer team coach Herve Renard has reacted to the injury of midfield ace Mukuka Mulenga by calling Roderick Kabwe and Lubambo Musonda for Sunday’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) final round qualifying match against Zimbabwe in Harare.
Kabwe of Zanaco and Musonda of Power Dynamos were part of the squad that trained at Independence Stadium in Lusaka yesterday.
Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) communications manager Erick Mwanza said in Lusaka yesterday that Renard decided to call the two midfielders to fill the void left by injured Mulenga.
Mulenga suffered a leg injury last Saturday in Zambia’s 2-0 victory over Botswana in the CHAN first round return leg clash at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
“As you know we expect Mukuka to be out for over a month or so.  The coach felt that we needed to bring in more players and he settled for Musonda and Kabwe.
“There is no doubt that both players are highly talented but off course they will need to impress the technical bench for them to be in the final team that will travel to Zimbabwe,” Mwanza said.
He said there are a lot of gifted players in the league and the coach is at liberty to call whoever he feels can contribute to the national team.
Musonda last played for Zambia last year in a friendly game against Saudi Arabia on December 5, while Kabwe last featured in a friendly against Zimbabwe at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium four months ago.
He said Renard has 25 players in camp but only 20 players will be in the squad to Harare.
Mwanza said the association is confident the team will pick up a positive result in Harare and ease the burden in the return leg on August 24 at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
“This team has played a number of games so far and they are yet to lose a single match. This is a very impressive record and as FAZ we are very happy. It shows that this team can go far if we all support it,” he said.
The team leaves for Harare either tomorrow or Friday.
He said the national team has a tight programme and some players will be picked to play in the senior Chipolopolo that faces Senegal in Paris in an international friendly next Wednesday.
Mwanza said the game against Senegal is important because it is the only competitive match that the association has lined up ahead of the September 6 crucial 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier against Ghana in Kumasi.
Zambia need beat Ghana to win Group D of the qualifying rounds and progress to the final qualifying round.