Chipolopolo coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has saluted midfielder Enock Mwepu for showing true professionalism in Thursday’s home victory over Botswana barely 24 hours after joining the team for the 2021 AFCON Group H qualifier.
Mwepu scored a goal and played the full 90 minutes and was handed the captaincy by Lubambo Musonda after he made way in the 59th minute of Chipolopolo’s 2-1 win against Botswana played at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
His display came barely 24 hours after his Austrian club released him following late Covid-19 lock-down at RB Salzburg last week before a second set of tests put the team in the all -clear on Tuesday.
“We have seen how very important it was for him to come and his contribution has been immeasurable especially that he had to fly here via Egypt where he spent seven hours in transit and then flew from there to Addis and then coming here,” Micho said.
“It was not easy especially that he arrived less than 24 hours prior to the match and you arrive and playing a game of this magnitude.
“But he has shown maturity, seniority and experience that he has gained in the UEFA Champions League and he has given his full contribution.
“But I need not emphasize individuals I need to give credit to the team too for giving us the best in order to get the three points.”
Mwepu ignited Zambia’s fight back with the equalizer two minutes into added time before half time.
This is after Botswana had taken the lead through Tumisang Orebonye when he turned in a corner in the 45th minute.
Collins Sikombe then crashed in the winning goal in the 67th minute.
The result lifted Zambia from the bottom of Group H for the first time after three rounds of Group H qualifiers played on 3 points, exchanging places with Botswana who have 1 point.
Zimbabwe stay second on 4 points after losing 3-1 away to leaders Algeria in Algiers on the same night who have a maximum 9 points.
“…..and was handed the captaincy by Lubambo Musonda ”
No he wasn’t handed the captaincy by Lubambo. Lubambo is just another player. The captaincy is only given by the coach. the coach has authority to assign both captain and vice captain. What Lubambo did was hand the captain’s armband to Mwepu.
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