Renard unveils crack squad

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

BELGIUM-BASED striker Roger Kola, defenders Emmanuel Mbola and Kampamba Chintu are among 26 players Zambia coach Herve Renard has picked for next Friday’s decisive 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier against Ghana.
Kola returns to the team after a two-year absence, Mbola was summoned for the World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Sudan.  Chintu was dropped prior to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Kola campaigns for Belgian side KAA Gent, while Mbola and Chintu are globetrotting in search of securing professional deals.
Striker Collins Mbesuma of South African side Orlando Pirates, who missed the international friendly against Senegal in Paris on August 14 is in Renard’s plans for the match in Kumasi.
China-based skipper Christopher Katongo leads the squad that has 19 foreign-based players and seven local stars.
The local players are Danny Munyao, Joshua Titima, Kabaso Chongo, Christopher Munthali, Bronson Chama, Kondwani Mtonga and Bruce Musakanya.
Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) communications manager Erick Mwanza, who released the list of players at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, said preparations will get underway in Johannesburg tomorrow.
Mwanza said Renard will work with the local players as he waits for the arrival of the foreign-based legion.
“We know how tough it will be in Kumasi. Every match is tough but like the president (Kalusha Bwalya) has said, we know how important this fixture is and understand what we need to do.
“So we are going to be well prepared and we will fight from the first whistle to the last. Our mission to Kumasi is to collect maximum points and we have the skills, talents and capability to achieve that.
“Herve and his staff are confident that we will get the result we need to get to the final play-off round. The players have a wonderful spirit and are united around the mission and we are too. The better team, which we know is Chipolopolo, will carry the day and it’s our desire to see this match played in a fair manner with respect and in a conducive and brotherly manner,” Mwanza said.
He said the Chipolopolo stars are enjoying top form and are injury free.
“We are delighted that the entire compliment of our players are enjoying top form and are injury free. It’s our desire to see them remain this fit and injury free going into Kumasi next week. Our camp will be set this Thursday in Johannesburg from where we will train until 48hours before the match when we jet into Kumasi,” Mwanza said.
He said FAZ scritinised all the camping venues before settling for Johannesburg.
Mwanza said Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal were all considered but the Kalusha-led executive was discouraged by the challenges of flight connections.
Zambia on 11 points need to beat Ghana, who are on 12 points, to top Group D and qualify to the final play-offs.

The squad:
Goalkeepers: Kennedy Mweene, Danny Munyao, Joshua Titima
Defenders: Kabaso Chongo, Davies Nkausu, Joseph Musonda, Emmanuel Mbola, Christopher Munthali, Bronson Chama, Stopilla Sunzu, Hichani Himoonde, Kampamba Chintu
Midfielders: Kondwani Mtonga, Nathan Sinkala, Fwayo Tembo, Rainford Kalaba, Mukuka Mulenga, Bruce Musakanya, Chisamba Lungu, Noah Chivuta, Christopher Katongo
Strikers: Jacob Mulenga, Emmanuel Mayuka, Collins Mbesuma, James Chamanga and Roger Kola.