New-look Zambia primed for 2018 COSAFA Cup

Seventeen players out of coach Beston Chambeshi’s 20-man final squad of only home-based call-ups will be making their COSAFA Cup debut’s for Chipolopolo at this year’s tournament in Limpopo.

Missing from the team is striker Fashion Sakala of Spartak Moscow 2 in Russia and midfielder Salulani Phiri of Polokwane City in South Africa.

Chambeshi has decided to leave out both his foreign-based targets he was eyeing for the 2018 COSAFA Cup due to their pending early 2018/2019 pre-season club schedules.

Only three players survive from the 2017 team that lost 3-1 to Zimbabwe in the final last July in Rustenburg.

They are defender Isaac Shamujompa of Buildcon, and midfielders Collins Sikombe of Lusaka Dynamos and Green Buffaloes’ Jack Chirwa.

Nkana striker Ronald Kampamba finally makes his long-awaited COSAFA Cup debut despite his long service to Chipolopolo together with Lusaka Dynamos playmaker Cletus Chama.

Defender and Chipolopolo home-based team captain Ziyo Tembo of Zanaco, his club mate and goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata, who was number one for Zambia at 2018 CHAN in Morocco, are both heading to Polokwane.

Zesco striker Lazarus Kambole, who made his Zambia debut at the 2018 CHAN tournament in Morocco, has also made the cut.

Kambole is enjoying great form for both club and country so far and has three international goals since making his Zambia debut in January.

He also has three goals in the 2018 CAF Champions League plus five in domestic action for Zesco.

Midfielder John Chingandu defenders Shemmy Mayembe and Bornwell Silengo are the other new faces from the 2017 FAZ Super Division champions Zesco.

Mayembe and Buildcon midfielder Ngosa Sunzu will be the two players from Zambia’s 2017 U20 AFCON winning team that reached the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup quarterfinals in the COSAFA Cup team.

Meanwhile, Kitwe United striker Emmanuel Chabula is set for his first Zambia cap.

Chabula’s 15 goals in 2017 helped guide Kitwe United back to top-flight football for the first time since 2006.

Zambia will kick off their 2018 COSAFA Cup campaign on June 2 when they face Namibia in the quarterfinals at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Both teams enjoyed byes from the preliminary group stage of the competition.

Zambia squad:

Goalkeepers:Toaster Nsabata (Zanaco), Kenny Mumba (Red Arrows)

Defenders:Ziyo Tembo (Zanaco), Isaac Shamujompa (Buildcon), Paul Banda (Lusaka Dynamos), Billy Mutale (Power Dynamos), Martin Sikaonga (Nakambala Leopards), Shemmy Mayembe, Bornwell Silengo (both Zesco)

Midfielders:Cletus Chama, Collins Sikombe (both Lusaka Dynamos), Larry Bwalya, Kelvin Kampamba Mubanga, Benson Sakala (all Power Dynamos), Jackson Chirwa(Green Buffaloes), Ngosa Sunzu (Buildcon), John Ching’andu (Zesco United)

Strikers:Ronald Kampamba(Nkana), Lazarous Kambole (Zesco United), Emmanuel Chabula (Kitwe United)