Zambia’s 2018 CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying hopes got off to the best possible start after a 4-0 away win over Swaziland on Sunday.
Lusaka Dynamos midfielder Cletus Chama scored a brace while Green Buffaloes striker Brian Mwila recorded his fourth competitive goal for Zambia from five matches so far this year.
Zesco United defender Fackson Kapumbu scored his debut Zambia goal as Chipolopolo took a comfortable first round,first leg lead into their final leg qualifier on July 22 in Lusaka.
Chama headed-in the first off a cross from Mwila before the latter made it 2-0 in the 26th minute when he turned in an assist from Augustine Mulenga.
Chama completed his brace from the penalty spot in the 47th minute when Power Dynamos striker Martin Phiri was brought down in the box by Machawe Dlamini.
Kapumbu then whipped in a trademark freekick past Swaziland goalkeeper Sandile Ginindza in the 81st minute.
Meanwhile, Nyirenda made 8 changes to the team that lost to Zimbabwe on July 9 in the 2017 COSAFA Cup final across the border in South Africa that included Power goalkeeper Allan Chibwe who was on the bench and Toaster Nsabata of Zanaco instead started.
Nchanga Rangers defender Isaac Shamujompa and Mwila were the only starters today from that COSAFA Cup losing team in Rustenburg.
Meanwhile, Zambia need a home draw to take into the final round qualifiers in August where South Africa the strong potential opponents.
Bafana Bafana won their first leg away match 2-0 in Francistown on Saturday against hosts Botswana.
Winner in the August tie will qualify to the CHAN finals in Kenya next January.
CHAN is a second tier AFCON exclusively for home-based players.