By SANDRA MWILA –
STRIKER Alex Ng’onga was left out of the Chipolopolo squad as coach Wedson Nyirenda named his crack 23-member squad as he eyes a win over Nigeria to keep alive hopes of making a maiden World Cup appearance.
As reported by this paper yesterday, Nyirenda maintained core of the players that beat Algeria home and away, and there was still no space in the team for former skipper Rainford Kalaba as keeper Kennedy Mweene looks set to lead the new ambitious squad.
Nyirenda said at a media briefing at Football House when he unveiled his squad that the Chipolopolo’s aim remained the same as when the competition started and expects the players to do the job next weekend.
While admitting that Nigeria would not be easy opponents, Nyirenda said what would matter most would be how his players would apply themselves on the pitch in Uyo on October 7.
“Chances of us making it to Russia are there and we shall go on the pitch with one thing and that will be going to Russia. Nigeria will have their last game against Algeria and we also play Cameroon at home,” Nyirenda.
Nyirenda maintained his trust in defender Isaac Shamujompa, who is embroiled in a transfer battle, and Justin Shonga who was reported injured and has not featured for his club after the Algeria game.
But Nyirenda said Shamujompa would not be affected by lack of play as the player has been training and looked good.
Shamujompa’s transfer is still before the FAZ Player’s Status Committee that will rule whether he is a Nchanga Rangers or Power Dynamos player.
“Shonga has been part of team from the rebuilding process if memory serves me well, he is a lethal striker who can create and score at any given time,” Nyirenda said.
Asked on the omission of Kalaba and Nathan Sinkala, Nyirenda said players not called for this match would be considered for future assignments. “They are Zambian players, the door is always open for everyone but for this encounter we have chosen these 23 and what we feel we are going to use. They (Kalaba, Sinkala) will be called in future,” Nyirenda said.
Nyirenda added that the technical bench has been psyching players to be ready for any intimidation that they might face in Nigeria.
“The Nigeria game will be psychological and we are psyching the players. We know what to expect and they will throw any other trick in the book,” Nyirenda said.
Team manager Chris Chibuye said they expect all the foreign based players to arrive in Ghana by Tuesday.
Chibuye said midfielder Chisamba Lunga and the South African legion of Mweene, Rodrick Kabwe, Brian Mwila and Shonga are expected on Monday.
Full Squad: Goalkeepers: Kennedy Mweene (Mamelodi Sundowns-South Africa), Toaster Nsabata (Zanaco) and Allan Chibwe (Power Dynamos)
Defenders: Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu (Zesco United), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes), Stoppilla Sunzu (Arsenal Tula -Russia), Ziyo Tembo (Zanaco), Isaac Shamujompa (Power Dynamos).
Midfielders: Chisamba Lungu (Allanyespor-Turkey), Edward Chilufya (Djurgårdens-Sweden), Donashano Malama (Nkana), Kondwani Mtonga, Misheck Chaila (Zesco), Augustine Mulenga (Zanaco), Enock Mwepu (FC Liefering-Austria), Emmanuel Banda (K.V Oostende-Belgium), Roderick Kabwe (Ajax Cape Town-RSA), Ernest Mbewe (Zanaco)
Strikers: Justin Shonga (Orlando Pirates-RSA), Fashion Sakala (Spartak Moscow-Russia), Brian Mwila (Platinum Stars-RSA), Patson Daka (Red Bull Salzburg-Austria).