By MICHAEL MIYOBA
AFTER Zambia came from behind to beat Botswana 2-1 on Thursday, the two teams will square off for the second time in four days in a return leg fixture of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier slated for Francis Town in Botswana.
The Chipolopolo are oozing with confidence having redeemed their chances of qualifying for the Afcon in Cameroon following the 2-1 win in Lusaka.
However, it is revenge time for the Zebras of Botswana who gave up a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to the Chipolopolo on match day three.
With Zambia seeking to break the jinx of failing to qualify for the AFCON after missing out on the last two editions of the continental championship, the return leg against Botswana presents the Milutin “Micho” Sredojevics tutored Chipolopolo another chance to redeem their hopes of qualifying for AFCON.
Micho will rely on Midfield genius and Red Bull Salzburg star Enock Mwepu who was one of the scorers in the 2-1 win on Thursday to provide leadership as the team fights for a must win away from home.
Micho is expected to make changes upfront after strikers Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga failed to impress on Thursday.
Among his options, the Serbian may start Fashion Sakala and Emmanuel Chabula who changed the game with Fashion Sakala creating the assist for Collins Sikombe who scored the winning goal as Zambia beat Botswana.
The Chipolopolo coach who guided Zambia to their first win in the qualifiers after they lost the first two games to Algeria and Zimbabwe, is confident the team will be able to triumph in Botswana.
“I believe in the players we have and I believe with good planning and good tactical approach, we can outfight, out play and out run the opponents in order to fight for the points. We need to go like suicide bombers like I have said in the past,” said Micho after Thursday’s win against Botswana.
A second win over Botswana may propel Zambia to second in Group H with six points if Zimbabwe fail to beat Algeria in Harare today.
Meanwhile Botswana’s search for a first win continues today when they host the Copper Bullets.
Botswana will look to England-based midfielder Renee Batlokwa and Malta-based winger Kabelo Seakanyeng to lead the way in Francis town for the Zebras to get their first Group H win.
Botswana are winless in nine matches across all competitions having succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Algeria before the 2-1 loss in Lusaka.
The Zebras are placed fourth on the Group H standings with one point from three matches which were against Zimbabwe, Algeria and Zambia.
By MICHAEL MIYOBA