Chipolopolo seek redemption against Swaziland

Zambia seek redemption this afternoon after last weekend’s 2017 Cosafa Cup final flop when they face Swaziland in a 2018 CHAN qualifier away on Sunday.

The CHAN first round,first leg qualifier comes a week after Zambia were dismantled 3-1 by Zimbabwe in the Cosafa Cup final played in Rustenburg, South Africa.

But the Zambia bench is confident they will make amends in the CHAN qualifiers as Chipolopolo embark on reaching their third final after finishing 3rd in the inaugural 2009 tournament in Cote d’Ivoire and reaching the quarterfinals at Rwanda 2016.

Zambia head into the match unbeaten against Swaziland in their only other CHAN qualifier meeting in 2008.

Swaziland held visiting Zambia 1-1 before Chipolopolo advanced to the first round 4-1 on aggregate.

“Swaziland football has improved but our target is to qualify for the Kenya finals,” Zambia assistant coach Aggrey Chiyangi said.

“They (Swaziland) will be strong but we are targeting to go through.”

Meanwhile, Zambia coach Wedson Nyirenda has made over 11 changes to the team bringing in players from champions Zanaco and runners-up Zesco United who missed the Cosafa Cup tournament in South Africa due to their respective 2017 CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup obligations.

Goalkeeper Allan Chibwe of Power Dynamos faces some strong competition from Zanaco’s Toaster Nsabata while at left-back Fackson Kapumbu should start after Lawrence Chungu was dropped following a porous showing against Zimbabwe.

Zanaco captain and defender Ziyo Tembo is back and takes the place of Webster Mulenga who was dropped after the loss to Zimbabwe.

In midfield, Lusaka Dynamos playmaker Cletus Chota and Zesco’s defensive midfielder Kondwani Mtonga are set to add some quality that the team lacked in Rustenburg.

Otherwise, Nyirenda is set to keep his faith in his recent preferred attack of Brian Mwila who has three goals in four games for Zambia and Justin Shonga who has netted two goals in that same run of matches.

Meanwhile, the final leg is set for July 22 at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

The winner over both legs will take on the victor of the other first round tie involving South Africa and Botswana this August for a place next January’s final tournament in Kenya.

         

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