Chipolopolo coach Aggrey Chiyangi is delighted to see striker Patson Daka and midfielder Enock Mwepu join the team for Tuesday’s must-win 2021 AFCON Group H qualifier against Zimbabwe at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
The influential duo from Austrian champions RB Salzburg were recalled to the senior team barely 24 hours after the Zambia U23 ‘s exit from the 2019 U23 AFCON in Egypt on November 15.
The decision to recall Mwepu and Daka came in the wake of Zambia’s humiliating 5-0 away loss to defending AFCON champions Algeria on November 14 in Blida.
“The only thing is we had allowed them to go and be with the U23 team. Initially, they were part of this team,” Chiyangi said.
“But again, they were certain decisions that we made for them to be with the U23 to help them qualify to the next (2020 Olympics) tournament.
“It is just like recalling them here. We are happy that they here and able to blend with the team and hoping for the better tomorrow.”
Zambia head into the match bottom of Group H on zero points, Zimbabwe are second on 1 point, tied with Botswana, who host leaders Algeria on Monday night and who lead on 3 points.
And so it is redemption time for Zambia in their first Group H home game on November 19 as they battle to win back hearts and minds as fears of a third successive AFCON absence linger on.
“So far everything is OK because we have been observing them from and everyone looks very positive we believe by the time we finish our Monday session everyone will be ready tomorrow,” Chiyangi said.