By Sports Reporter
THE Zambia national football team yesterday failed to hold a training session in Brazzaville due to the political violence that erupted across the city two days after Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso extended his 32 years of power in a re-election.
Zambia was yesterday instead subjected to a 40 minutes’ walk as training after being advised against holding a full-fledged session due to political confusion across the city.
This was a set-back for the George Lwandamina’s tutored boys who were hoping to utilise the two days as a build-up to today’s game.
However, Sports minister Vincent Mwale who is with the team in Brazzaville assured the boys of maximum security.
“I know this is a set-back for the team but I urge the boys to stay focused. We need to set our minds on tomorrow’s game. They are guaranteed of maxi-mum security,” he said.
Zambia will be looking to bag an important three points when they clash with Congo today in their Group E 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) return leg qualifier at the 80,000 capacity Kintele Stadium, north of Brazzaville.
The game between Zambia and Congo was slated for Massemba-Debat stadium but the venue had to be changed due to security reasons.
Zambia is tied on five points together with Congo but placed second on an inferior goal difference.
The Chipolopolo drew 1-1 against Congo in the first leg played last Wednesday at Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Zambia will go in today’s game without key defender Stopilla Sunzu after he collected two yellow cards in the qualification series.
Sunzu got the first yellow card during the qualifier match against Guinea Bissau last year at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium and the second card in last Wednesday’s match against Congo.
However, Congo has also suffered a set-back with their key striker Thievy Bifouma ruled out due to two yellow cards.
This is a must win match for the Chipolopolo if they have to shoot to the top and solidify their chances of qualification to Gabon.
Other Group E teams Guinea Bissua have four points while Kenya is bottom placed on a point. The two teams clash today in a return leg.
The Chipolopolo team has goal keepers: Kennedy Mweene, Jacob Banda and Racha Kola.
Defenders: Stephen Kabamba, Chongo Kabaso , Davies Nkausu, Buchizya Mfune, Adrian Chama, and Nathan Sinkala
Midfielders: Christopher Katongo, , Jackson Chirwa, , Rainford Kalaba, Isaac Chansa, Salulani Phiri, Clatous Chama Chota, Spencer Sautu and Lubambo Musonda and Benson Sakala,
Strikers: Winston Kalengo, Collins Mbesuma and Conlyde Luchanga