Zambia to face Botswana in Chan qualifier on Saturday

Zambia have added pacey forward Evans Kangwa to the Cosafa Cup-winning squad as they prepare for Saturday’s Chan qualifier away to Botswana

The Nkana striker was part of the 2012 Afcon winning team and returned home recently from a lengthy but unsuccessful trial stint in Spain.

Following their Cosafa Cup triumph last Saturday, it was back to serious business on Monday for Chipolopolo who are seeking a second appearance at the tournament which is exclusive to local-based players.

Herve Renard is currently training with 21 men to be trimmed to 18 before they depart for Gaborone on Thursday.

Kangwa is likely to face stiff competition from club teammate Festus Mbewe, who however ended the Cosafa campaign goalless, but he is Renard’s favourite by virtue of being the leading goalscorer in the MTN Super League.

Bornwell Mwape finished Cosafa with one goal while Alex Ng’onga was the outstanding forward at the tournament where Chipolopolo scored five goals and conceded one.

Equaling Zimbabwe’s four Cosafa titles, Renard credited their triumph to local clubs for releasing players.

“The clubs have been very helpful in making their players available to the national team and I have no problems with selecting any player,” Renard told Fazfootball.

“Don't forget that we used only locally based players and at times inviting players to the national team created big problems for their clubs. But it is a very good achievement for them to win a trophy like the Cosafa Cup. I am confident that even when I am not around in future - many of these players will be able to play for Chipolopolo,” he said.

Arriving at Gaborone’s Molepolole Sports Complex Stadium under pressure to justify their Cosafa triumph, the Zambians face a possible upset from the Zebras of Botswana.

The return leg has been slated for 3 August at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

If they pass the Botswana hurdle, the 2009 Chan third runners-up could rekindle their grudge battles against Zimbabwe who also have to prevail over Mauritius.

If Zambia win Chan in South Africa next year then it would add a fourth trophy to Zambia in two years after bagging the 2012 Afcon, the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup last November and the Cosafa Cup this year.

Zambia Squad

GOALKEEPERS: Joshua Titima, Danny Munyau

DEFENDERS: Jimmy Chisenga, Bronson Chama, Christopher Munthali, Kabaso Chongo, Masautso Zimba, Fackson Kapumbu

MIDFIELDERS: Mukuka Mulenga, Bruce Musakanya, Kondwani Mtonga, Brian Chewe, Sydney Kalume, Claude Bwalya, Julius Situmbeko, Misheck Chaila

STRIKERS: Evans Kangwa, Festus Mbewe, Alex Ng’onga, Moses Phiri, Bornwell Mwape