Sport

Zambia, Zimbabawe Soccer Friendly Light Up Levy Stadium Tonight

Zambia’s preparation for a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Uganda continues tonight with an international friendly against Zimbabwe.

The newly constructed Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola will host its first international match under floodlights after successfully opening the gates in June when Zambia slaughtered Ghana in a World Cup qualifier.

Chipolopolo coach Herve Renard has an opportunity to size the team.

The Frenchman, a hero in the southern African nation, after becoming the first coach to win the continental title is on a mission to select a local team to compete with their foreign-based counterparts.

With the match going live on the national broadcaster ZNBC, the local players have so much to prove to the local audience to warrant a place in the main team.

Chipolopolo are the 2012 AFCON champions but to defend the title next year, they need to go passed Uganda in the final round of qualifiers.

Renard requires a competitive side to face Uganda next month and the local breed forms part of his game plan.

The local players to look out for are not new. There is a collection of the young and old who have graced Zambian football.

Renard is also trying out youngsters from the Airtel Talent Search programme although it may be too early to risk them for an Africa Cup of Nations that is just five months away.

Juma Mutale and Goeffrey Ngwenya are the new faces in the team and their contributions, at least for now, will only go as far as the Zimbabwe friendly.

Leading Zesco United goal-scorer Jackson Mwanza, the influential Power Dynamos duo Kennedy Mudenda, and Joseph Sitali are not new to the Chipolopolo colours.

Their experience will be important for Renard and the local side to collect a respectable result.

The likes of Kangwa Chileshe, Bruce Musakanya, Ronald Kampamba and Edward Kangwa will also be staking their claim to be a part of a team that will also form the bigger part of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) side.

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