Ugandans celebrate Kalaba’s injury: ‘Jubilee gift mother nature has offered’

By Fred Kaweesi

What a Jubilee gift!



Details of the article here

Africa champions Zambia are in dire straits following the withdrawal of their playmaker Rainford Kalaba from Saturday’s decisive Nations Cup qualifier against Uganda.

But Ugandans will celebrate this development as the best possible Jubilee gift that ‘Mother Nature’ could have offered ahead of a vital fixture Cranes need to win by a 2-0 result to qualify for the finals next year.

Kalaba sustained a groin injury during TP Mazembe’s goalless draw against Tunisian side Esperance in the first leg of their African Champions League semi-final on Sunday.

And according to the Congolese club’s doctor Taha Messaoud, the mercurial midfielder (below) will only be able to return to competitive football after a minimum of seven days.

“The injury is not too bad but he needs a lot of care. It will be very difficult for him to play this weekend,” Messaoud told BBC Sport on Monday.

Kalaba’s withdrawal from the Zambian team is as massive a blow as it comes.

The 26-year-old is the heart and soul of this Zambian team. He is the commander and match maker.

Without him, the Zambians are virtually lifeless.

Kalaba, whose performances for club and country have earned him a place among the nominees for the African Player of the Year award, admitted he was disappointed to miss the decisive qualifier.

“I am very disappointed because it’s a crucial game for us. If we don’t qualify, people back home will not understand,” he said.

“I just pray that the guys get a positive result in Uganda.

I believe in them and I know they will do wonders when they go there,” Kalaba hinted.

Throughout the 2012 Nations Cup tournament, Kalaba was the little engine that drove Zambia forward.

As far as the entire tournament was concerned, no player was as central or pivotal to a team’s success as Kalaba was for Zambia.

Fast and deceptive, Kalaba is an instinctive goal-poacher who can also run the channels or shoot from outside the box. His teammates call him ‘The Master’.

Kalaba featured in all six of Zambia’s starting elevens in the 2012 tournament, playing a huge piece in the team’s success.

What Kalaba’s absence means for Cranes

In Ndola, Kalaba performed in bits, largely because of Godfrey Walusimbi’s intelligent play at left-back.

Although he shifted into a more central role and troubled Cranes midfielders Mike Sserumagga, Godfrey Kizito and Hassan Wasswa with his intelligent movement and passing within tight areas, his preferred areas of operation are down the right side of midfield.

It explains why Zambia striker Jacob Mulenga labelled Cranes left-back Walusimbi ‘world class’ after watching him frustrate Kalaba in the first leg before pointing that Zambia’s success on Saturday would depend on whether Kalaba will find a way past Walusimbi.

“He (Walusimbi) is fantastic. He is world class.

He should be playing in Europe. I like the way he plays,” Mulenga told New Vision in Nairobi before adding: “He looks intelligent and makes the right decisions.”

On Monday though, Zambian coach Herve Renard sounded pleased with the form of a majority of his first team players and particularly striker James Chamanga, who struck twice as his side Dalian Shide lost 3-2 to Liaoning Whowin in the Chinese league on Saturday.

Renard was so critical of the veteran striker after he missed two glaring opportunities during Zambia’s 1-0 first leg win over Uganda.

But the hype around Chamanga’s form and fitness of Jacob Mulenga has now superseded the presence of all the other star attractions in the team’s camp, including Southampton forward Emmanuel Mayuka.

This means Cranes’ prospects on Saturday will largely be decided by how well the team’s back-four perform on the day against Zambia’s five established strikers Chamanga, Mulenga, Mayuka, Christopher Katongo and Jonas Sakuwaha.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 40
  • comment-avatar
    kamps 5 years

    Is the Zambia national team all about Kalaba? Even when kalu stoped playing many thought Zambia would struggle,and why do you chaps speak highly of Uganda? Zambia is a very good team and will put up a very good game tomorrow i just do not see Zambia losing Uganda was lucky in Ndola but they will not be lucky in kampala, records are always broken. Even Zambia used to be un beaten at independency staduim

  • comment-avatar
    mujombo 5 years

    With or without Kalaba Zambia will show the Ugandans it depth on 13th october 2012.And you doubting Thomases will then believe.Watch this space out.

  • comment-avatar
    faramborator 5 years

    CHI CHETEKELOFYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….KUSEPESHA…WITH OR WITHOUT KALABA.CHIPOLOPOLO KAILI.

  • comment-avatar
    Kenneth 5 years

    Sad for Kalaba the Sprinter, Team work will do!!!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Kenneth 5 years

    The cranes are determined. Zambia should use their Afcon champinionship mask to threaten the cranes with an early goal!!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    tm 5 years

    i pray we win this one i am nervous on this one i dont know why….

  • comment-avatar
    Chris 5 years

    We are winning zambia is a big team come saturday .

  • comment-avatar

    Zambia is going to win no matter what.

  • comment-avatar
    BALUNGI 5 years

    To qualify for the draw against Zambia, the Cranes lost the first leg in Brazaville by 3 goals to 1. What happened in kampala, Congo was whipped 4-0 for the Cranes to qualify.

  • comment-avatar
    BALUNGI 5 years

    Believe it or not without Kalaba, Zambia is lifeless. The Chipolopolo games are midfield centred with Kalaba as the engine therefore his replacement can’t be as good. Secondly, no African giant has ever prevailed in Namboole despite the cranes’ “inexperience”. Nigeria, Ghana, even the mighty Angola then under HR was demolished 3-0. So Namboole is not HR’s good hunting ground. Thirdly, Zambia survived in Ndola b’se the cranes used only one junior striker OKWI due to injuries of the now fit Massa & Omony.

  • comment-avatar
    chanda.H 5 years

    More importantly,lets make a calloout for clifford mulenga.we must learn to bury the paste mistakes,Zambia is a christian nation and forgiveness is paramount.quiet okey the boy has been disciplined,but let it not be perpetual,atlast it will be the entire nation to suffer a set back.take an example of senegalese El hadji Diouf.His country used to have him on the starting eleven despite being troublesome.it was just his stage in his growth carrer.am sure he is a changed man.mr coach sir,for the sake of returning the title consider the young clifford.he has similar attacking principles as kalaba.The government please move in also in this matter,we cannot afford to lose to the cranes and remain embarraced for failing to qualify even when we have some guys to perform at their highiest level best.

  • comment-avatar
    African Champion 5 years

    Fellow, Zambians, watch the game in Ndola against the Cranes again. I know many people just wanted us to win by many goals. It did not happpen and may be that influenced our thinking. Our local public media did not help matters. It has always been like that, anyway.

    Uganda only played the first 10-15 minutes, after that they where just surviving – they could have lost that game by about 5-6 golas save for lady luck. That is, as they say from a football sense of things. I would be more worried with Ghana than Uganda in the same situation. Ghana from their play at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium where very mature, composed and looked very dangerous in all areas.

    Uganda only managed one or two counter attacks in the second half that really looked dangerous. The rest of their game was average.

    By the way, the Ugandans DEDICATED THEIR NATION to the Lord Jesus (similar to our Christian Nation Declaration) on Sunday 7th October at this same Stadium. They are our brothers in the Lord. Congratulations and welcome to the family! We love you. This is just football…

    • comment-avatar
      THE REPORTER 5 years

      its true,uganda would ve gone home by 6 goals

  • comment-avatar
    Waitaya 5 years

    Football is won or lost in 90 minutes plus added on the pitch. The rest is what may be witchcraft or simply day dreaming.

    Uganda just woke up one day and discovered that CAF handed them a draw against the African Champions. For now they will do their best to start discovering what makes us tick. Ghana and Ivory Coast ignored us. Equatorial Guinea coach never minced his words about how he felt he could not lose to Zambia because he had studied all our friendlies and games before as far as 2010 (That is a good Brazillian coach who had very good players I must admit). They fell, at home, before their fans.

    Morden Soccer uses statistics. Zambia has one crucial stat agaist the cranes. We beat them in Ndola. Their coach Bobby Williamson has already conceded to one amazing statistic. NOT SO MANY TEAMS score more than one goal against Zambia in recent years. That is one aspect in all their discussions (I have been following their media) they still have figured out why.

    Whenever it comes to that, they have not had answers. They analysed our midfield play and attack. When it comes to defence, all they have done is tell their strikers to shoot on site. And I laughed at this bit.

    I put my money on Chipolopolo; withor without Kalaba or Jacob. I wish the two could have played anyway.

  • comment-avatar
    Malekani from Mapatizya 5 years

    CALL BACK CLIFFORD MULENGA

  • comment-avatar
    The ugly truth 5 years

    Well has been a big influence on our game and there seems to be no one who fill his shoes when he is not around.it would be nice if they can give chance to clifford.but this throws the game wide open with Uganda with a big chance.its too close to call.

  • comment-avatar
    Zambian Human Being 5 years

    Ba Manyando, if u re a ng’anga, we don’t care but would only advise to stick to civility. Do u see any word in the article that suggest witchcraft? We wish Kalaba a quick recovery for his career progression. CHIPOLOPOLO will be pa South

  • comment-avatar
    mike 5 years

    open game,we need to score as many goals as uganda wil allow.

  • comment-avatar
    manyando 5 years

    Ba zambia muli bachabe,too much juju football,God should punish u this time around by losing.viva Uganda.

  • comment-avatar
    The Eyes of an Eagle. 5 years

    Iwe papaya ; you are wicked and evil.How could you suggest that Kalaba smokes and that is why his eyes looks suspicous.You are even asking DEC to carry out investigations into the matter.I have red eyes myself, but I don’t smoke or quaff beer.Most black Africans have brownish/red eyes by nature.I rest my case.

  • comment-avatar
    Da Genius 5 years

    Kalaba should have been examined by our own team of medical doctors to acertain if he was truly injured or not coz i smell the hand of the unscrupulous katumbi in this issue

  • comment-avatar
    The Eyes of an Eagle. 5 years

    Iwe chi papaya ;How could you suggest that kalaba smokes the hard stuff known as the WEED by rastas.I must say iwe Chi pawpaw you are wicked and evil to suggest that Kalaba’s eyes shine due to abuse of a kacamba.Jelous will not take you anywhere at all.

  • comment-avatar
    The Eyes of an Eagle. 5 years

    You only cross the bridge upon reaching the river.Let us wait and see what happens on Saturday.The results will be decided after ninety minutes .Therefore the idea of crying for spilt milk will not assist in any matters at all.This gives us anadvantage over Uganda.The ugandan chaps may even relax in their approach to the game;especially after knowing that the Midfield Predator (kalaba) is not around.They may also not know that the likes of Njobvu,chisamba and sinkala can cause more harm in the midfield.Guys we are winning this march.I rest my case.

  • comment-avatar

    DEC should investigate this wounded rabit test him for drug abuse, check his eyes. No wonder he is finished now, only talking about the past.

    • comment-avatar
      THE REPORTER 5 years

      iwe papaya its u who is on drugs alah.kalaba is the best footballer.i love him.his the man of the match

  • comment-avatar
    THE REPORTER 5 years

    can someone give me the webside for the ugandans?

  • comment-avatar
    PF Bootylicker 5 years

    We should play 4-5-1 with sunzu moving in midfield and kampamba chintu to partner hichani himonde in the heart of defence then let mayuka as a lone striker with chansa, katongo,sinkala and chisamba packing the midfield with mbola and nkausu as full backs.what do you think soccer analysts?

    • comment-avatar
      blago 5 years

      Sounds good to me

    • comment-avatar
      mk 5 years

      Good suggestion. I hope HR, is thinking likewise.

    • comment-avatar
      chanda.H 5 years

      U are the Man.i think ur line up can help us since mbola and sunzu at time they turn to overlapp,helping either chamanga or mayuka upfront.

  • comment-avatar
    Uncle Junior 5 years

    This is when you see what strength and depths Zambia is made off; HR has been taking team B for international friendlies use them…you chaps can not depend on one single player.

  • comment-avatar

    Cruel eh? Anyway, it tells us that they fear us and wish us bad luck But what they dont know is that even our reserve team can whoop them!!! Watch.

  • comment-avatar
    Waligo Ronnie 5 years

    Why the chest thumping? The african champions should not make history by failing to qualify at the hands of an inexperienced side though. Go and test the fury of Namboole stadium.

  • comment-avatar

    We still have chisamba and sakuwaha (tho he’s a striker) but we can rely on others too we are still winning

  • comment-avatar
    The Fixer 5 years

    One of the pitfalls of football is overconfidence. The absence of Kalaba is deceptively advantageous to the Cranes, but we have a lot of surprises for the novices. This is grand inexperience on their part, no wonder they have been missing out from the AFCON action for decades. You dont win a game until the last whistle, simple. Ask Ghana, Sudan, Libya and Ivory coast.

  • comment-avatar
    real analyst 5 years

    With all due regards, Renard should not waste his time on Chamanga…The man will do the runnings without a goal…Plz we don’t need him…this is a decisive game

  • comment-avatar
    Amuna Onzuna 5 years

    Its true, i went on their website and they are very happy that he is not playing. To them, Zambia is Kalaba and without him victory is theirs.Im sure Renard will deploy a defensive formation with two defensive midfielders in Sinkala and Kasonde while allowing Chansa or Willam Njobvu to do the distribution upfront to a lone striker

  • comment-avatar
    Chimogo Charles 5 years

    Guys, we have to be serious on this. Ugandans are very tough nowadays. They may thrust us 5goals to may be to 1 just like they have done to other Giants.

    Watch-out for their talented youths that missed the 1st leg. They are very brilliant and have eye for goal.

    Remember; There’s this very energetic man Godfrey Massa. He IS back for training.

  • comment-avatar

    the eye of an egle.

  • comment-avatar
    My Opinion 5 years

    Uganda, you will even be more disappointed. We will win without him. Zambia has won many games withoout Kalaba. So, please just relax and see yourselves going down.