ROBINSON KUNDA and CECILIA ZULU, Lusaka
COACH Wedson Nyirenda is worried the Chipolopolo’s 4-0 thumping of Swaziland in the 2018 Kenya African Nations Championship (CHAN) first
round first leg may cause complacency in Saturday’s return leg in Lusaka.
And the under-17 national team’s departure for Mauritius was yesterday delayed to allow four players to acquire passports ahead of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Under-17 Championship kicking off in Port Louis on Friday.
Nyirenda said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the big win has potential to bring about mediocre performance.
“That is the biggest problem we have….yes, we may be four goals up but that can also pose a big danger to the team where you now put up a mediocre home performance.
“There are two things here: having scored four goals away and then playing the second leg at home. It may bring a lot of reluctance among the players, so what we are doing now is to be hard on them [players] to make sure they don’t relax.
“From the first training session, it will not be something that will be jovial. It will be intensive psychologically and the players have to know that we are not here to joke,” he said.
Nyirenda said it has happened in football where a team relaxes after a good away performance and crumbles in the return match due to complacency.
He also said defender Solomon Sakala has been excused because his team, Napsa Stars, has a programme with him and has been replaced with Nkana defender Moses Nyondo.
And striker Brian Mwila has predicated a tough game against Swaziland.
Mwila, who has scored four goals in five appearances, said the players will not underrate Swaziland because in football anything can happen.
The Green Buffaloes hitman is thankful to God for the tip-top form and wants to fight for a place in the senior team.
“My dream is to play in the World Cup qualifiers. Zambia has never been to the World Cup. I would like to take the team to the World Cup. I give glory to God for my fine form because he is the one doing it for me, it’s not by my powers,” he said.
Midfielder Clatus Chama netted a double, Mwila and defender Fackson Kapumbu contributed a goal apiece in Mbabane.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Zambia communications manager Desmond Katongo in an interview in Lusaka yesterday named the under-17 players as goalkeeper Bruce Kayuni, defender Christopher Katongo and midfielders Lameck Banda and Clinton Lubula.
“Instead of leaving today [yesterday], the team will only leave on Thursday [tomorrow]. This is due to some logistical problem. Some players don’t have passports. We are hoping they can be ready before the end of business today [yesterday],” Katongo said.
And under-17 national team coach Mumamba Numba has declared the team ready for battle at the July 21 to 31 tournament.
Zambia are in Group B alongside Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.