WITH just a month before the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals start, Chipolopolo midfielder, Felix Katongo's football career in Angola has taken a downward spiral after his GiraBola club, Petro Atletico announced its intentions to release him.
Katongo, a member of the Chipolopolo 2012 AFCON winning squad, will be released by Atletico at the end of this season.
According to Supersport.com yesterday, Katongo, who scored one of the penalties as Zambia beat Ivory Coast 8-7 to lift AFCON trophy in February, had failed to impress his Angolan employers.
Atletico are intending to sell Katongo after a disappointing season with the Luanda-based club with club officials saying they were disappointed with his contribution to the team which finished third in the league, 13 points behind champions, Recreativo Libolo.
Katongo, who has featured for five different clubs in the past five years, was making his second stint with Atletico after earlier featuring for them for a season in 2006.
The 28-year-old acrobatic midfielder, whose career at Al Ittihad in Libya was cut short by a civil war last year, has played club football in five countries.
Before heading to South Africa's Jomo Cosmos, Katongo turned out for local sides Butondo Western Tigers, Forest Rangers and Green Buffaloes.
After his earlier stint with Atletico, Katongo trekked to France where he featured for Rennes and Chateauroux and later returned to South Africa at Mamelodi Sundowns.
As Katongo's career faces a downward spiral, Chipolopolo striker Jacob Mulenga scoring form continued at the weekend when he scored a winner in FC Utrecht 2-1 win over AZ Alkmaar at the Galgenwaard Stadium during the Dutch Eredivisie week 15 match.
Mulenga, who completed 90 minutes before he was replaced by Kai Heerings in added minutes of an exciting encounter that saw the Chipolopolo player scoring his six league goal and also giving coach Herve Renard that much needed boost ahead of the AFCON finals in South Africa.
The towering Chipolopolo striker volleyed home a Tommy Oar corner which the AZ defenders failed to properly clear allowing him to unleash a powerful left volley to win the match for Utrecht, who moved up to sixth on the log with 25 points.
Utrecht took the lead through a Leon de Kogel goal in the 48th but AZ levelled matters in the 50th minute courtesy of an Etiënne Reijnen goal before Mulenga sent the home fans into wild celebrations with his 83rd minute volley.
Mulenga has now scored three goals at home and away in a ratio that pits him as having failed to score a goal in the opening 15 minutes but has managed one between 16 to 30 minutes and netted twice between 31 to 45 minutes.
He has failed to find the back of the net between 46 to 60 minutes but has done so in 61 to 75 minutes and has scored twice between 76 to 90 minutes. Mulenga trails Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony, who lead the topscorers chart with 15 goals.
FC Twente still lead the log with 34 points same as Vitesse Arnhem, who are relegated to second position due to an inferior goal difference, with PSV Eindhoevn in third place on 33 points followed by Ajax and Feyenoord in fourth and fifth place with 30 points respectively.
Next up for Utrecht, who has so far managed seven wins, four draws and loses scoring 20 goals against 17, is a game against 10th placed Heracles on Friday.
In England, striker Emmanuel Mayuka continued warming the bench as his Southampton side was narrowly beaten 1-0 by Liverpool during the English Premiership match on Saturday as the Saints remained stuck in the relegation zone.
Mayuka is yet to make his first competitive start for Southampton since his move from Young Boys of Switzerland.