Zambia: Atlas Lions Hold Chipolopolo

Chipolopolo were yesterday held to a draw in a preparatory match played in South Africa.

THE Atlas Lions Morocco yesterday held African Champions Zambia to a barren draw in a preparatory match played in South Africa as Chipolopolo coach Herve Renard dropped three players to make the final 23-man AFCON squad.

The Frenchman dropped clubless and charismatic defender Chintu Kampamba and new call-ups Shadreck Malambo and Salulani Phiri from the provisional team prior to yesterday's match against the Atlas Lions that saw Chipolopolo firing blanks and ending in a draw.

The three were dropped from the Chipolopolo squad currently shaping up in South Africa as Herve Renard submits his final 23-member squad to CAF ahead of today's deadline.

Kampamba together with new call-ups Shadreck Malambo and Saulani Phiri were dropped prior to yesterday's barren draw against the Atlas Lions of Morocco, a match that saw the Chipolopolo firing blanks in the three practice matches.

According to sources with the team in South Africa, Phiri of Zanaco and Malambo of Red Arrows were left out of the final squad together with Kampamba as Renard submits his final 23 players, whose names would be submitted to CAF today as per AFCON rules.

On the field of play, Renard started with his strongest 11 with Kennedy Mweene. Hichani Himoonde and Stoppila Sunzu partnered in central defence while Davies Nkausu and Emmanuel Mbola started as right and left-backs respectively.

Rainford Kalaba started in midfield alongside Nathan Sinkala, Isaac Chansa and Chisamba Lungu with Jacob Mulenga making a strike force upfront with captain Christopher Katongo as Renard went in search of the elusive goals.

But the Chipolopolo, smarting fresh from 2-0 defeat to Angola, could not find the back of the net despite creating several scoring opportunities with Mukuka Mulenga, who came in for Rainford Kalaba, missing a golden chance to win the match in the final minutes of the match played at Rand Stadium in Johannesburg.

After watching his side fail to score, Renard introduced Collins Mbesuma for Jacob with Emmanuel Mayuka coming in for Lungu while Joseph Musonda replaced Mbola as Mukuka Mulenga was brought in for Kalaba.

William Njobvu and Felix Katongo were equally given a run out replacing Christopher and Chansa.

The team is expected in Ndola on Friday ahead of an international friendly match against Norway set for January 12 and will wind up preparations with a tie against Namibia on January 15 at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

Zambia leads Group C that has Ethiopia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

Chipolopolo starting Line Up: Mweene, Nkausu, Mbola, Himoonde, Sunzu, Lungu, Sinkala, Kalaba, Chansa, Mulenga and Christopher.

The squad: Goalkeepers: Kennedy Mweene (Free States Stars, South Africa), Joshua Titima (Power Dynamos), Kalililo Kakonje (Napsa Stars).

Defenders: Stoppila Sunzu, Hichani Himoonde, Francis Kasonde (All TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Davies Nkausu (SuperSport United, South Africa), Joseph Musonda (Golden Arrows, South Africa), Emmanuel Mbola (FC Porto, Portugal).

Midfielders: Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala (Both TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Mukuka Mulenga (Power Dynamos), Isaac Chansa (Henan Jianye, China), Chisamba Lungu (Ural Oblast, Russia) , Felix Katongo(Premiero de Agosto, Angola), Noah Chivuta (Free States Stars, South Africa) , William Njobvu (Hapoel Be'er Sheba, Israel).

Strikers: Emmanuel Mayuka (Southampton, England) Collins Mbesuma (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Jacob Mulenga (Utrecht, Netherlands),James Chamanga (Dalian Shide, China), Jonas Sakuwaha (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Christopher Katongo (Henan Jianye, China).

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