By Chrisen Chimwaya
The Egypt 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations finals are getting closer and the Zambia U23 national team has intensified their preparations ahead of the crucial final qualification round encounter against Congo Brazzaville scheduled for September 4th.
Head coach Beston Chambeshi has expressed happiness with the players playing abroad for working hard and being in fine form. Patson Daka scored a goal over the weekend while Fashion Sakala set up one of the goals in his teams 3-1 win with a number of other players involved in their teams’ games.
“We have been monitoring the foreign-based players, we are happy with the way they are playing. So far if you look at the two boys Lameck Banda and Kingsley Kangwa are representing us well and we received a good report about the Duo,” Chambeshi told FAZ Media.
Patson Daka, Fashion Sakala, Lameck Banda, Enock Mwepu, Emmanuel Banda, Edward Chilufya, Kenneth Kalunga, and Klings Kangwa all play their trade abroad and make up an important part of the dream team.
The Under 23 Camp is missing players from Zesco, Buildcon and Power Dynamos. Zesco and Buildcon are in action this weekend in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup respectively while Power Dynamos are in Tanzania for a five-day preseason camp. Zanaco who are on bye in Continental has availed goalkeeper Mangani Banda and defender Kebson Kamanga.
Chambeshi has also drafted four new players into the squad namely Edwin Chipile (MUZA), Lewis Maimba (Nkwazi), Francesco Mwepu (Kafue Celtic) and Crispin Sakulanda (Red Arrows).
Zambia will host Congo Brazzaville at National Heroes Stadium on September 4 before closing the tie in Pointe Noire four days later. The winner over two legs will qualify to the Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Egypt in November.
Top three teams at the eight-nation tournament will qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.