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Alba Iulia
Sunday, January 17, 2021

Weekend Football Preview

Sports Weekend Football Preview

Its busy weekend of Africa Cup and Olympic Games football tournament qualifiers for the Zambia senior and Under 23 teams respectively who are away to play Congo-Brazzaville and Malawi respectively.

On Saturday, Peter Kaumba’s Under 23 side will be hoping to successfully complete an assignment in their 1st round, away game to Malawi where they arrive carrying a 3-2 advantage from the first leg played on February 7 in Lusaka.

The Under 23 has been boosted with the presence of South African based striker Given Singuluma of Bay United who has scored four goals in two matches for the team since the Olympic qualifiers begun last October.

Singuluma together with Konkola Blades striker Felix Nsunzu Jr, who is trailing on the former by a goal, are set to renew their prolific partnership on Saturday against Malawi.

However, there will be a new face in-between the posts after first choice Rabson Muchelenganga of Power Dynamos was dropped.

Kaumba will either pick Zesco United’s Under 20 goalkeeper Jacob Banda or ex-Zambia keeper Kalililo Kakonje of Golden Arrows in South Africa.

A win or a draw for Zambia under 23 against Malawi will be enough for the visitor to advance to the group stage qualifiers that kick off in June.

ZAMBIA COUNTING ON LIGHTENING STRIKES IN CONGO.

Striker Collins Mbesuma returns familiar hunting grounds in Congo-Brazzaville with Zambia this Sunday hoping lightening will strike again there to help inspire the visitors to an important win in their Group 11 encounter at Pointe Noire.

It’s been almost three years since Mbesuma’s memorable hat-trick against hosts Congo in a come-from-behind 3-2 away victory on October 10, 2004.

Mbesuma went on to score one more goal over Congo in the return leg in a 2-0 home win in Chililabombwe played five months later.

Meanwhile 3rd placed Zambia on 3 points from two games are unbeaten against 2nd placed Congo on 4 in three successive competitive games.

Zambia has not lost at Pointe Noire now since November 10, 1996 when they went down 1-0 there in a World Cup qualifier with the subsequent three games all wins in favor of Chipolopolo.

Congo on the other hand will be wary of that statistic as they try to maintain their unbeaten home run in Group 11 especially after defeating bottom of the log and winless Chad 3-1 in their last pool game played on October 8, 2006.

Chad meanwhile host Group 11 leaders South Africa on Saturday with a win for the latter on the day certain to see them in control of Group 11 until June.

South Africa are on 4 points level with Congo but enjoy a better goal difference to see them top Group 11.

The match will mark new coach and former Brazil’s World Cup winning coach Carlos Alberto Parreira’s competitive debut on the bench with the 1996 African champions.

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