It is a do or die for Chipolopolo as they face Ghana

The Chipolopolo Boys as they always do, sings praises to God before going for the warm up. Pictures Courtesy of FAZ

The Chipolopolo Boys as they always do, sings praises to God before going for the warm up. Pictures Courtesy of FAZ

By Chimuka Moono Hanyama

Everything is done. Rituals, prayers and training have been a success. What remains is now for the copper bullets to prove their prowess and tenacity.

Friday is that day which every soccer lover awaits. This is a day when the resilience, prowess and tenacity of the boys will be put to serious test. It is a ‘day of the jackal’ when two giants will crash for a place in Brazil next year. If the boys win, they will not only have an opportunity to play in the World championship but will too have an experience in the beautiful beaches of Brazil while watching the Samba girls in their bikinis!

The Chipolopolo boys who are playing the last crucial encounter in this stage away in Kumasi, Ghana, are without two key players, Collins Mbesuma and Jacob Mulenga, both of whom have suffered injuries.

Team Doctor Joseph Kabungo said from South Africa that Mbesuma still needed time to recover from the injury while FC Utrecht had sent scans of Mulenga’s torn thigh muscle that rules the towering striker out of the game. This though is not a spell of doom to the Chipolopolo as Renard’s bench has a variety to select from. He has Rainford Kalaba who scored a very important goal for his side, TP Mazembe, over the weekend against an Egyptian team.

Others are Mukuka Mulenga, Chisamba Lungu and James Chamanga who are also versatile in all forms of attacking. The Chipolopolo who are one point below the host Ghana will look to attack more and defend cautiously as they have everything to loose if they fail to score. The boys will need to commit more men in the middle of the field while launching fierce and coordinated attacks at the Black Stars.

On the other hand, the Black Stars are poised to win Friday’s encounter with Zambia. Ghana, who will still sit on top of Group D should they draw, have all reputable professionals such as the Ayew brothers, Asomoah Gyan, Prince Boateng, Atsu ready to face the Chipolopolo in a win or draw match. The Black Stars will have the home advantage and history stirring in their face while Chipolopolo goes flat out against all odds.

Soccer is judged within the ninety minutes of playing. The game is always unpredictable, sometimes ending to stunning finish! There is no such a thing as an underdog in soccer. It’s an open game, and Chipolopolo goes in to play as an equal competitor. Time only will tell.