SOUTH African giants Kaizer Chiefs say Chipolopolo striker Collins Mbesuma is the threat to their progression to the next round when they clash with Mpumalanga Black Aces in the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout this evening at Mbombela Stadium.
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Willard Katsande told South Africa’s leading football online magazine Soccer Ludama that Mbesuma was the ace in the Mpumalanga scheme of things and therefore he had a plan to stop the Zambian marksman from stealing the show.
“I know that the game against Aces will be tough. They have shown this season that they can play against big teams and get results, and we are aware of that.
‘‘I knew it will be a tough game from the time I heard we would be playing Aces. We all know that Collins Mbesuma is a good striker who has an eye for goal, so we won’t give him room to play,” he said.
He said Kaizer Chiefs had a plan for Mbesuma and will handle the striker by not leaving room for him to operate and score goals.
“If you allow him space, time and room to turn in the box, he will hurt you. We will not allow him to turn in the box. We have great defenders who can stop any striker, including Collins.”
Katsande has unfortunately been ruled out of this tie through suspension but was confident his team mates will handle ‘‘Ntofontofo’’.
Meanwhile, Chipolopolo goalkeeper Jacob Banda says he is determined to stop Mozambique from upsetting Zambia’s 3-0 score line in the first leg at Ndola when they clash tomorrow in the final round decisive Rwanda 2016 African Nations (CHAN) qualifier in Maputo.
Banda said he was ready to put in his very best to ensure that the team solidifies its place at the CHAN finals.
“We are just a step from the CHAN finals. I am ready to take any shots from the Mamba’s. It’s not going to be an easy match as they will try to do everything possible to overturn the result; we will not break down,” he said.
He advised his teammates not to lose focus until the last whistle to achieve the intended target of qualifying for CHAN tournament.
Defender Dauti Musekwa said he will do his level best when coach George ‘Chicken’ Lwandamina accords him the chance to feature for the game.
Musekwa said Mozambique was a good side but will not be allowed to camp in Zambia’s half this time.
“I will put in my very best to help the team reach the CHAN tournament. We will bring the dream into reality,” he said.
Zambia arrived yesterday in Mozambique and was this morning scheduled to have a training session at Machava Stadium, the venue for the match.
The Chipolopolo Boys beat the Mambas 3-0 in the first leg played last Saturday at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Zambia has missed on two CHAN editions since winning bronze at the inaugural tournament in Côte d’Ivoire.
The squad has goalkeepers: Jacob Banda (Zesco United), Toaster Nsabata (Zanaco);
Defenders: Boyd Mkandawire (Napsa Stars), Christopher Munthali (Power Dynamos), Buchizya Mfune (Green Buffaloes), Benedict ChIpeshi (Red Arrows), Donashano Malama (Nkana), Dauti Musekwa (Zesco United);
Midfielders: Jack Chirwa (Green Buffaloes), Paul Katema (Red Arrows), Charles Zulu (Zanaco), Benson Sakala (Power Dynamos), Salulani Phiri (Zanaco), Spencer Sautu (Green Eagles), Mwila Phiri (Green Eagles), Mwape Mwelwa (Zesco United);
Forwards: Festus Mbewe (Red Arrows), Winston Kalengo (Zesco United), Moses Phiri (Zanaco), Conlyde Luchanga (Lusaka Dynamos).