Chipolopolo Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has described Sunday’s final friendly match against Bafana Bafana as judgment day for some of his foreign call-ups.
Some of the eight overseas call-ups Micho featured in Friday’s 2-1 away friendly loss to Kenya failed to make any impact against Kenya.
It took three home-based players to breathe life into Chipolopolo’s attack after 65 minutes of play at which point they were trailing Kenya 2-0 as early as the opening 25 minutes of the first half.
Micho is using the October friendlies against Malawi (that Zambia won 1-0 on October 7), Kenya and South Africa to prepare Chipolopolo for their November AFCON 2021 Group H qualifuers in which they lie bottom on zero points after two games played heading into the doubleheader against Botswana.
“The match ahead of us will answer us so much and then we shall have a complete picture that will lead us into the November AFCON qualifiers against Botswana in order to have our first XI without any testing and going straight into the competition and fighting for the points that we want to fight for, ”Micho said.
“Unfortunately we shall, after analyzing deeply, there will be an unfortunately situation that some players would not be called in the future.
“In the national team, there is not too much space and time for the player to play if he does not show readiness to serve the nation in the best possible way.
“But I don’t want to say anything until after Sunday’s match. I would like say that if players come from abroad, they need to make a significant difference in comparison with the local players that are visibly hungry ,thirsty and extremely motivated to give the best for the nation.”
Zesco United midfielder Kelvin Mubanga’s 81st minute assist was headed in by Nkwazi striker Emmanuel Chabula after they came on in the 65th minute for Fashion Sakala of KV Oostende in Belgium and Evans Kangwa of Russian club Arsenal Tula.
Five minutes later, 46th minute substitute Collins Sikombe of Napsa Stars saw his corner headed-in for an own-goal by Kenya midfielder Muguna that was disallowed after it was swept back into play despite crossing the line.