Football Sport

Janza ‘panics’ over injuries

JANZA

DIANA MUTAKAFIMBO, Lusaka
NATIONAL team coach Honour Janza is sweating about injuries in his team as he unveils the final 23-member squad today for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament that kicks off next week in Equatorial Guinea.
Three players that include first choice goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene picked up injuries during a friendly against South Africa on Sunday.
Mweene has a groin injury while midfielders Chisamba Lungu and Nathan Sinkala have knocks.
Although team doctor Joseph Kabungo described the injuries as manageable, Janza is racing against time and praying the three Chipolopolo regulars recover in time.
“Injuries will never leave the coach with a free mind. We have Mweene, Chisamba and Nathan is also limping. We are just praying that they all recover because we need everybody. The injuries are minor but all the same, we need them to recover in time,” said Janza in an interview from Johannesburg yesterday.
The Chipolopolo trainer said the friendly has given his technical bench an insight into players to make the final squad.
Four players will be dropped from the provisional 27-member squad currently in camp.
South Africa edged Zambia 1-0 as both teams prepared for the Africa Cup scheduled to kick off on January 17 in Equatorial Guinea.
Janza said the Chipolopolo benefited more from the friendly match than Bafana Bafana despite losing as it exposed the team’s inefficiencies.
“It was a good game. We wanted to expose all the players and the game gave us a lot of insight as we select the final team. It benefited us more than South Africa in knowing where we are and players to make the final squad,” he said.
Janza said the game gave his technical bench an opportunity to gauge the condition of the players and test how tactically ready the team is.
He gave kudus to Bafana Bafana for giving his side a good run.
Meanwhile, Israel-based defender Emmanuel Mbola joined camp on Sunday while his Hapoel Ra’anana teammate Evans Kangwa was expected in camp yesterday.
Mbola missed the friendly as he arrived in Johannesburg after the match had already started.
Zambia are in Group C with Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tunisia.



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