AFCON QUALIFIER BUILD UP: Chiyangi spoiled for choice upfront
Zambia host Namibia on Saturday at 18h30 in an African Cup of Nations qualifier at Lusaka’s National Heroes Stadium.
While it’s dead end for Zambia, a positive result for the brace Warriors might earn them qualification to Egypt 2019 AFCON.
One interesting department has been the quality of strikers at caretaker coach Aggrey Chiyangi’s disposal.
Should Chiyangi, who is assisted by Numba Mumanga decide to go for the traditional 4-4-2, then three strikers will have to be contend with a place on the bench.
The ZamFoot Crew takes a closer look at the strikers in camp.
MOSES PHIRI – Buildcon
As teenage, he was one the most sought of after strikers in Israel in one transfer fee.
All the big three Israeli clubs; Maccabi Tel Aviv, Haifa and Hapoel Tel Aviv were ready to snatch him from Zanaco after he attended trials in that country.
Unfortunately a deal could not materialise and a few years later on, he headed to the lower Portuguese league.
Phiri who also finished as Zanaco top scorer with 14 goals a few years ago has failed to live up to that tag and after a almost three years spell in Portuguese, he returned home and joined Buildcon.
VERDICT: He will be lucky to start on the bench again.
Trivial: Phiri worked with both Chiyangi and Numba during his days with Zanaco. He was in the same team with Rodger Kola in 2009
MWAPE MUSONDA – Black Leopards, South Africa
Another Zanaco link in the squad
To most Zambian clubs, he is the one who got off the radar and resurfaced in South Africa in 2014.
In the league, he featured for Konkola Blades and spent unsuccessful season at Sunset Stadium before he signed for Orlando Pirates.
Pirates loaned him to Golden Arrows where he played with Rodger Kola and Joseph Musonda and returned to the Soweto giants for the 2015/16 season.
He then dropped a division below and played for Black Leopards.
Last season his goals helped Leopards to promotion the PSL and finished as joint top scorer.
Back with the elite, the 28 year old has continued to bang in the goals and is currently leading the scoring charts in South Africa with 12 goals in the league with 7 games to go.
VERDICT: He will make the match day squad and will feature at some point.
TRIVIAL: Should he win the ABSA Premiership top scorer award, he will be fourth Zambian to have done so.
Dennis Lota (18 goals), James Chamanga (15 goals), Chris Katongo (15 goals) and Collins Mbesuma (25 goals) are the other players.
JUSTIN SHONGA – Orlando Pirates, South Africa
His friends call him ‘Chicharito’ because of his knack for goals from inside the box.
The 22 years old will start against Namibia after his impressive performances last year.
Shonga was a rare shining light in a troubled campaign under Belgian coach Sven Vandenbroeck.
He has an impressive 11 goals in 18 caps.
The Chipata native has already scored 12 goals in all competitions for Pirates.
VERDICT: Sure starter
LAZAROUS KAMBOLE – Zesco United
He is one of the best strikers on the continent.
The former Konkola Mine Police forward has been a mainstay of the Zesco United attack in recent years.
Despite being one of the in form strikers in the last 18 months, Vandenbroeck ignored the sharp shooter.
There’s still debate with regards to his best position. Is a wide role or as a striker?
VERDICT: He might start on the wing if Chiyangi opts to start Clatous Chama in midfield.
RODGER KOLA – Zanaco
The veteran is currently leading the scoring charts on the local scene.
He returns to the Chipolopolo set up after a three year absence.
VERDICT: He has 50 percent chance of starting.
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