Saturday Jun 12, 2021. 15:00
Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic continues to defend Zambia’s winless performances on their current June three-match friendly tour that on Friday evening saw Chipolopolo suffer their second defeat in a warm-up against Sudan.
Sudan defeated Chipolopolo 3-2 in an unofficial game at Omdurman.
The friendly was downgraded to a non-FIFA ranking match due to operational reasons and saw Micho field players who have so far seen little to no action during the tour that begin with a 3-1 loss to Senegal on June 5 and a 2-2 draw against Benin on June 8.
Chipolopolo and Sudan will now play their official friendly on June 13 at the same venue.
“We had come to Sudan on Thursday thinking that on Friday we would have the official friendly game and the second match as the unofficial friendly game on Sunday,” Micho said.
“However, it has gone vice-versa with the official friendly now on Sunday and the training game on Friday.
“So having that in mind that we have played three games in six days, we rested some players and rotated some players and gave a chance to players that have not played up to this point including Makabaniso Magenge and Isaac Shamujompa and others.”
Striker Brian Mwila, who was used substitute against Senegal and Benin but did not score in both games, started in Friday’s friendly and scored a brace.
However, Sudan were in command throughout and did not surrender their lead with all of their three goals coming in the opening 22 minutes of the first half.
Mohammed Abdelharin put Sudan ahead in the 6th minute and Athar Altahir made it two-nil in the 18th minute.
Mwila then cut the deficit in the 20th minute to score his first goal in a Chipolopolo shirt since ending his two-year hiatus on the tour.
But Sudan put some distance on the score line when Mohammed Abdallah struck in the 22nd minute to give Sudan a three-one halftime lead.
It took another sixty one minutes of action for Zambia to find the target again when Mwila completed his brace in the 83rd minute.
However, it was Mwila’s fellow long-term absentee and Buildcon FC club mate Isaac Shamujompa who was Chipolopolo’s best player in what was the defenders’ first game back after a year battling injury.
“I need to say we are very satisfied with the training match, Shamujompa played very well while others still need space to improve and room to develop,” Micho said.
Meanwhile, the make-shift Chipolopolo side, that is likely to form the core of Zambia’s COSAFA Cup title defence this July in South Africa, has now conceded eight goals and scored five during their still winless friendly expedition.