Zambia take on Zimbabwe

Cosafa regional rivals Zambia and Zimbabwe face each other in the early kick-off of a 2016 CHAN Group D doubleheader at Umuganda Stadium on Tuesday in Rubavu, with Chipolopolo coach George Lwandamina describing the match as a must win.
Lwandamina told fazfootball.com on Monday that winning the opening match was always important.
Lwandamina will have in mind the painful 1 – 0 loss suffered at home to Zimbabwe which denied the Chipolopolo, then coached by Herve Renard, a place at the 2014 edition in South Africa.
But Lwandamina will also have fond memories of the 2 – 0 victory Zambia registered against Zimbabwe to lift the Cosafa Cup on 20th July 2013 in Ndola.
Defenders Christopher Munthali and George Chilufya are the only survivors available to Lwandamina from the team which lost 1 – 0 to a Charles Sibanda goal at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on 24th August, 2013.
“The first game is always important and even more crucial because we are playing our rivals Zimbabwe. We have a well balanced team with a good mix of youngsters as well as experienced players. Our immediate objective is to win and we believe that we have a team to achieve that goal,” said Lwandamina.
Lwandamina has nine players in his 23-man squad who are under the age of 22, with six of those yet to celebrate their 20th birthdays.
Significantly, Lwandamina has in the squad seasoned campaigners Christopher Katongo and Isaac Chansa who won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012.
2013 Cosafa Cup winner Christopher Munthali along with goalkeeper Jacob Banda, Buchizya Mfune and George Chilufya are the other players Lwandamina will turn to for leadership and experience.
Zimbabwe on the other hand has four players who have previously played against Zambia in recent matches.
Bruce Kangwa of Highlanders and Caps United’s Hardlife Zvirekwi were part of Zimbabwe’s side which denied Zambia a place and went on to finish fourth at the 2014 African Nations Championship.
Others are the Dynamos Football Club duo of Ronald Chitiyo and Ocean Mushure who played in the 2013 Cosafa Cup final.
The match will kick off at 15h00 followed by the match between Uganda and Mali at 18h00.

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