The Zambia U23 national team leaves for Liberia on Wednesday to face Sierra Leone there this weekend in a 2023 U23 AFCON qualifier.
Sierra Leone is hosting Zambia in their first round, first leg match in Monrovia because they do not have a CAF-certified venue to play their international matches.
Coach Oswald Mutapa has named an 18-member team for both legs to be played over the next seven days.
None of the eight foreign-based call-ups including winger Lameck Banda of Italian Serie A side Lecce will be making the trip due to club commitments.
And so Mutapa will bank on his local call-ups including Striker Andrew Banda of promoted FC MUZA who has made a promising start to the season with 4 goals from the opening eight rounds of matches.
Phiri is just a goal behind Prison Leopards’ Lubinda Mundia.
Mutapa has also added goalkeeper Jeban Phiri who is fresh from winning the 2022 COSAFA U20 Cup with Zambia in Eswatini where he also won the tournament’s Golden Glove.
Zesco United striker Enock Sakala Jnr and Jimmy Mukeya of Napsa Stars also headline the team.
Zambia will host Sierra Leone in the final leg on October 29 in Lusaka.
The winner will advance to the final stage to play the winner of Egypt versus Eswatini or Botswana second round tie.
GOALKEEPERS: Jeban Tembo (Red Arrows), Francis Mwansa (Trident)
DEFENDERS: Emmanuel Chembe, Mathews Chabala (both Nchanga Rangers), Chikondi Njobvu (Green Eagles), John Chishimba (Zesco United), Brian Musema (Jumulo)
MIDFIELDERS: Patrick Gondwe (Nkana), Joshua Mutale (Power Dynamos), John Kosamu, Golden Mashata (both Green Buffaloes), Wilson Chisala (Zanaco), Muma Mumba (Kafue Eagles), Christopher Katongo (Kansanshi Dynamos), Luwawa Kasoma (Zesco United)
STRIKERS: Jimmy Mukeya (Napsa Stars), Enock Sakala Jr (Zesco United), Andrew Phiri (MUZA)
When will they find talent to match Mbesuma and Kalaba?
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