Zambia battle Sudan in WC qualifier

Zambia (Backpagepix)
Zambia (Backpagepix)

Johannesburg - Zambia will battle for a favourable away result on Wednesday night against Sudan in a 2018 World Cup second round first leg qualifier in Karima.

This will be the second successive time that Sudan and Zambia meet in a World Cup qualifier.

Zambia got free three points off Sudan in June, 2012 after the hosts fielded a suspended player in a match they won 2-0 at home in Khartoum during a 2014 World Cup Group 4 qualifier.

However, the two sides resume rivalries with the pressure still very much on Zambia who have technically lost all their three away games against Sudan in World Cup qualifying action.

Furthermore, it is a two-way tie with the winner over both legs advancing to the final group qualifying round and defeat in Karima is certainly not part of Zambia coach George Lwandamina’s plans.

“Sudan is a tough team but I believe my players know what is stake,” Lwandamina said.

“We are away and I have told my boys to approach the game with caution, we need to get a better result that will put us in a good position ahead of the return match.”

Zambia are at near full-strength but will be without midfielder Chisamba Lungu of Russian club FK Ural and Power Dynamos defender Christopher Munthali.

Chisamba asked to be excused for the first-leg while Munthali was suddenly dropped in Lusaka at the 11th hour prior to departure on Monday evening.

Zambia captain and playmaker Rainford Kalaba, of DR Congo giants and newly crowned African champions TP Mazembe, is back after missing last month's friendly against Egypt due to a family bereavement.

Lwandamina will also be banking on his veteran striking duo of Collins Mbesuma and Winston Kalengo for goals as Zambia hunt for a historic first away win over Sudan in the World Cup qualifiers.

Meanwhile, the final leg will be played on November 15 at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola to decide whose journey in the 2018 qualifiers continues into the group stages.

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