By SANDRA MWILA and MOSES CHIMFWEMBE –
MIDFIELDER Kennedy Mudenda and striker Jackson Mwanza have been ruled out of this Sunday’s friendly match against Sudan set for the newly built Heroes National Stadium due to injuries.
But there might be place in the team for midfielder Mukuka Mulenga who has expressed willingness to feature and might become the fifth foreign-based player to feature in the match along with the TP Mazembe quarter, who were expected in the country before the clash.
Chipolopolo team doctor Joseph Kabungo said after a training session at the Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka yesterday that Mudenda of Power Dynamos and Mwanza from Zesco United have been sidelined by hamstring injuries.
Kabungo said striker Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba (ankle) and defender Christopher Munthali (groin) were still under observation and that the two were making steady progress.
“Kennedy and Jackson are out of the match due to hamstring injuries while Kampamba and Munthali have been making good progress and should be fully fit ahead of the Sudan match on Sunday,” Kabungo said.
Assistant coach Chintu Kampamba said talks were still on-going with Mukuka’s club Bloemfontein Celtic, where he is on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns, over the release of the player despite the match not falling on a FIFA international date.
Kampamba said Mukuka had shown interest in coming for the friendly but will depend on whether his club will release him.
“As you may be aware this friendly match does not fall on the FIFA calendar but as soon as the club agrees to release him (Mukuka) then he will come. Otherwise the team is in good spirits and ready for the match,” he said.
Kampamba said Sudan was a tough side and advised the players to take the match seriously and record the first win at the newly built stadium.
“It won’t be an easy game especially that Sudan is coming with a full squad and that Zambia will field in mostly local players. But we have adequately prepared for the game will give our fans a good match,” he said.
Meanwhile, burly striker Collins Mbesuma came off the bench to score his first goal in the 2014/15 Absa Premiership on Wednesday night as Black Aces picked up their first win following a 2-1 win over SuperSport United.
Mbesuma, who joined Aces on a two-year deal from Orlando Pirates last month, replaced Mabhuti Khenyeza in the 66th minute and two minutes later found the back of the net.
Aces were rewarded midway through the second half when Mbesuma, just a couple of minutes after entering the game as a substitute, put his side 1-0 up, finishing off an assist by Aubrey Ngoma, who in the 75th minute doubled the scores but United substitute Dove Wome scored a consolation for the Tshwane side.
Chipolopolo goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene had a night to remember after his side Mamelodi Sundowns, who are the reigning champions, were thrashed at home 3-0 by rivals Pirates at Loftus Stadium in Pretoria.
Defender Joesph Musonda played 90 minutes for Polokwane City who lost 3-2 in an exciting five goal thriller on Tuesday night while Chipolopolo skipper Christopher Katongo played 46 minutes as his Bidvest Wits suffered a 3-1 defeat to Clifford Mulenga’s Ajax Cape Town side but the latter did not make an appearance.