The crucial match that determines whom between East African giants Uganda and African champions Zambia secures the prestigious slot at next year's African Cup of Nations could be a month away, but preparations and mind games ahead of the highly anticipated contest have began in earnest.
Zambia's skipper Chris Katongo has fired the first salvo, insisting that 'mission Kampala' is very much within sights even though his side only have a slender solitary goal advantage, ahead of the return leg match scheduled to take place at the Namboole stadium in Kampala on October 13th.
“I know soccer fans (in Zambia) are worried that we only scored one goal at home but my message to them is that we will beat Uganda at their home. We will try to get a goal or two. Uganda’s impressive home record will be broken. Records are meant to be broken" Katongo is quoted by Zambia's daily post.
Zambia are gunning to be the first side in eight years to collect maximum points from Uganda Cranes in Kampala.
An official message from the Football Association of Zambia indicates that French coach Herve Reanrd will retain the entire 24 man squad that did duty in Ndola, for the Kampala assignment.
His Ugandan counterpart Bobby Williamson is however considering some changes to his squad. Swedish based playmaker Martin Mutumba Kayongo, who registered an average outing on his debut with the Uganda Cranes a few months back, is in line for a second chance.
“He has been doing fine for his club (AIK Stockholm) in the Europa League, and he is playing reasonably well, he is one of the many players who will be considered for the next leg,” confirmed the Scottish coach.
In addition, attacking duo Brian Omony and Geoffrey Massa, who sat out of the first leg owing to injury, have been rated as 'probable additions'.
The home team who expect a packed 45,000 supporting crowd on the decisive day, need to win the match by two clear goals to guarantee qualification.