MUKWIMA CHILALA writes

ZAMBIA national soccer team stand-in coach Beston Chambeshi says he is happy with progress made during the international training camp for the Chipolopolo in Morocco.

Chambeshi, who is leading the team on a three-match leg where Zambia has engagements against Cameroon, Morocco and Ivory Coast, said the only downside had been injuries to two key players.

Zambia played their first match against Cameroon on Sunday in Madrid and lost 2-1.

Chambeshi said his defenders, Ziyo Tembo and Donashano Malama, have been on the side-lines of the assignment having suffered injuries that the medics hope will be healed ahead of Sunday’s second friendly match against Herve Renard’s Morocco.

“The only thing which is hindering the team is these two players who are on the injury list, Ziyo Tembo and Donashano Malama,” he said.

“These are key players in our defence, and if you miss players like this it is worrying,” he said.

Chambeshi, however, expressed confidence in the under-23 trio of Moses Nyondo, Kebson Kamanga and Shemmy Mayembe that has stepped in to fill the void.

He said the team would be in good shape to face Morocco on Sunday before taking on Ivory Coast on June 19 in Abu Dhabi.

“It is good for the boys, otherwise we are looking at Morocco and then focus on Ivory Coast. These are big teams that are preparing for the tournament (AFCON),” he said.

Chambeshi said the reception in Moroccan had been cordial with the Chipolopolo granted access to top-grade facilities.

Zambia play Morocco on Sunday at the Grand Stade de Marrakech before heading to Abu Dhabi to play Ivory Coast on June 19.

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