Zambia Under-23 national football team has travelled to South Africa where they will fine-tune for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi at Kamuzu Stadium this coming Wednesday.
Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) said the team is scheduled to play a friendly match against little known South African side Dube International Football Club that competes in the ABC Motsepe League.
“The team will be holed up in South Africa for the next seven days before heading to Malawi. FAZ camped the team for six weeks prior to the Johannesburg outing,” team manager Hastings Ndovi told www.FAZfootball.com yesterday.
He further revealed that the team coach Beston Chambeshi has called up five foreign-based players who will be united with teammates in Blantyre.
They are Australia based forward Patson Daka and midfielder Enock Mwepu, France-based midfielder Emmanuel Banda, centre forward Fashion Sakala currently playing in Belgium and unattached defensive midfielder Boston Muchindu.
A bulk of the Zambia players were part of the team that won the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations in 2017.
Meanwhile, Malawi coach Meke Mwase has said that his team is ready to face Zambia.
“They are lucky to have foreign based players. Involving them in this match shows they know we are capable of beating them. All in all, we are not scared of their involvement,” he said.
The Zambia team’s foreign camping comes barely a week after Malawi returned from Belgium and Egypt where they played six friendly matches.
In the meantime, Mwase has stated that the team’s training is centred much on attacking and defending.
“We need goals during these games. In addition to that, we don’t need to concede if we are to triumph,” he said.
The return match is expected to be played in Zambia four days after the Kamuzu Stadium encounter. The winner of the tie will face either Burundi or Congo Brazzaville.
Eight top teams are expected to qualify for the Under-23 Afcon final to be played in Egypt in November this year where the best three sides will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.