Zambia drops Katongo from squad to face Lesotho in World Cup qualifier
Zambia coach Herve Renard has dropped Felix Katongo from his squad to face Lesotho in this month’s World Cup qualifier, seeking to edge past Ghana to reach the tournament in Brazil.
The Frenchman named a 19-man crack squad that includes Zanaco duo of goalkeeper, Racha Kola and midfielder, Roderick Kabwe for this month’s qualifier in Lesotho.
Renard, who retained almost his entire 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) squad, will, however, draft four more players to the provisional team before the Chipolopolo begin the preparations for Lesotho on March 16 in South Africa.
The 2012 AFCON winning coach recalled Kola and Kabwe to the Chipolopolo set up after dropping them prior to this year’s continental championship.
Kola is a direct replacement for Red Arrows goalkeeper, Danny Munyau, who was a late inclusion to the 2013 AFCON squad.
Also left out of the Lesotho clash set for Setsoto Stadium in Maseru on March 23 are striker, James Chamanga, veteran defender, Chintu Kampamba and midfielders, Felix Katongo, Noah Chivuta and Francis Kasonde.
Veteran defender, Joseph Musonda will also miss the Lesotho trip as he is suspended after picking up two yellow cards at the 2013 AFCON finals.
The Frenchman, however, retained his faith in skipper, Christopher Katongo, England-based striker, Emmanuel Mayuka, the central defensive partners, Stoppila Sunzu and Hichani Himoonde, Portugal-based defender, Emmanuel Mbola, midfielder, William Njobvu from Israel and 2013 revelation, Mukuka Mulenga.
Holland-based striker, Jacob Mulenga, who is currently in fine scoring form at FC Utrecht, South Africa’s Collins Mbesuma, first choice goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene and midfielders, Nathan Sinkala and Rainford Kalaba are among the notables making the team.
Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) spokesperson, Erick Mwanza who released the provisional squad at a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday said Renard’s list was still incomplete as he needed to fuse in four more players to bring the total number of players to 23.
Mwanza said the coach had not completed his call and that he was still doing some assessment through the ongoing talent search, and the remaining four names would be made known to the public by today.
“The coach has announced his 19-member provisional team, but he has not yet completed his call, he is still assessing some players, and the remaining four players will be announced to the public by tomorrow (Today),” Mwanza said
He said the team would set up camp on March 16 at their traditonal base in Johannesburg and adequately prepare for the World Cup qualifier.
Mwanza said FAZ would ensure the team was thoroughly equipped for the World Cup qualifiers because there was a lot of football to play and the Chipolopolo should hit the top competitive level.
The provisional team has
Goalkeepers: Kennedy Mweene, Joshua Titima, Racha Kola;
Defenders: Stoppila Sunzu, Hichani Himoonde, Emmanuel Mbola, Davies Nkausu;
Midfielders: Mukuka Mulenga, Roderick Kabwe, Nathan Sinkala, Rainford Kalaba, Isaac Chansa, Chisamba Lungu, William Njobvu;
Strikers: Jonas Sakuwaha, Emmanuel Mayuka, Collins Mbesuma, Christopher Katongo,Jacob Mulenga.