Nkana have suffered a huge setback ahead of this weekend’s CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinal decider away in Tunisia against CS Sfaxien with strikers Fred Tshimenga and Walter Bwalya both rule-out of that match.
Bwalya and Tshimenga, who have scored three and four continental goals this season respectively, will miss Sunday’s quarterfinal, last leg match in Sfax due to injuries.
Tshimenga sustained a foot injury in training on Tuesday on the eve of the team’s departure for Tunisia.
Bwalya is expected to be out of action for at least three weeks due to a knee injury he sustained in the 2-1 first leg win over Sfaxien on April 7 in Kitwe that saw him limp-off in the 59th minute.
The duo join winger Harrison Chisala on Nkana’s long-term injury list who missed the first leg win due to a knee injury he sustained in domestic action in Nkana’s 2-1 home loss to Lumwana Radiants that will see him sidelined for a month.
But the good news is midfielder Shadrick Malambo who was limped off in the 68th minute of the win over Sfaxien has recovered and traveled with Nkana on Wednesday night to Tunisia.
“In football, we expect the unexpected we have to plan for that one, we cannot be crying over whatever it has happened [injuries] so we have a plan for it,” Nkana assistant coach Manfred Chabinga said.
Despite the teams attacking deficiencies heading into the last leg, Nkana coach Beston Chambeshi has dropped striker Festus Mbewe leaving captain Ronald Kampamba as the only potent attacking option on the trip to Tunisia.
Also axed from away game is highly-rated goalkeeper Allan Chibwe who has been relegated after some inconsistent continental and domestic displays for Nkana.
Goalkeepers: Moses Mapulanga, Kelvin Malunga
Defenders: Joseph Musonda, Ben Banh, Musa Mohammed, Hassan Ramadhan, Moses Nyondo, Gift Zulu, Richard Ocran
Midfielders: Shadreck Malambo, Shadreck Musonda, Simon Bwalya, Bwalya Kasonde, Duncan Otieno, Lyson Thole, Obed Masumbuko, Jacob Ngulube, Kelvin Mubanga
Striker: Ronald Kampamba