They say one should never read too much into friendly matches but after watching Sudan beat Nchanga Rangers on Monday at Nkoloma Stadium, I can’t help but worry for Bruce Mwape.
Whoever fixed Rangers to play Sudan did Mwape a great favor and he now knows what the Chingola team should expect on their return to Caf club cup action for the first time since 2001.
Sudan are a national team but with a club temperament who in almost equal measure are made up of players from that countries 2011 Orange Caf Champions League representatives El Merriekh and Al Hilal.
Mwape is lucky that he has another month to get Rangers into the groove before taking on the great Lupopo of DR Congo in the first round of the Orange Caf Confederations Cup.
The only bright light against Sudan was an inspiring display from veteran midfielder Kenny Muma who was the teams’ fulcrum in the first 45 minutes.
However, the former Konkola Blades, Power Dynamos and Red Arrows midfielders withdrawal after the break left Rangers tuneless and roaming midfielder Kennedy Chansa stuttering.
Chansa had hitherto looked good while Muma was still on the pitch.
I just hope Dario Bonetti who watched the match did not leave Nkoloma with the notion that he had seen potential in Muma.
Meanwhile, defenders George Chilufya and Gift Sakuwaha were way too short on pace and culpable in Sudan’s second goal after Bakri Babeker out-sprinted the two Brave defenders who gave little cover for modest on-loan goalkeeper Rabson Muchele’nganga.
Right back Levy Zulu on the other hand was overwhelmed by the trickery of Sudan striker Badradin Abdella.
In short, Zulu just didn’t come to the game, he got a free ride on the team bus to Lusaka.
In attack, Nemon Nyirenda showed some potential but needs to add some pace and precision to the power to match his light-heavyweight stature.
Sudan’s defenders had a difficult time marking him in the last 20 minutes after coming on as a late substitute.
The big Under-23 striker is one to look out for from Rangers this season.
MAPUTO 2011 ALL AFRICA GAMES QUALIFIERS
*Zimbabwe 1(Denver Mukamba 26″)- Zambia 1(Lewis Macha 69″)
*Zimbabwe advance 4-3 on agg
Lesotho 1(Tšoanelo Koetle 80″)- Malawi 1(Luka Milanzi 54″)*
*Malawi advance 4-1 on agg
*Botswana 1(Motsholetsi Sikele 47″)- Swaziland 1(Welile Maseko 23″)
*Botswana advance 2-1 on agg
Delayed 1st leg