Sunday Jul 04, 2021. 10:00
Chipolopolo Zambia captain and TP Mazembe defender Kabaso Chongo says the team is hungry to retain their COSAFA Cup title in South Africa next week.
Kabaso finally joined the Zambia camp in Lusaka late on Friday afternoon from his DR Congo base in Lubumbashi ending doubts over his availability ahead of the COSAFA Cup that will be held from July 6-18 at Nelson Mandela Bay.
His arrival completes the list of foreign-based players expected in Lusaka although goalkeepers Kennedy Mweene and Mwenya Chibwe of Mamelodi Sundowns and Polokwane City will join the team when it arrives in South Africa this Monday.
“We will not look at ourselves and relax saying we are the defending champions,”Kabaso said after Saturday morning training in Lusaka.
“We have to work extra hard to make it easy for ourselves at the COSAFA Cup. The guys that will be picked to start must play with all their hearts because we have an objective to achieve.”
Kabaso joins a list of high-profile Chipolopolo players heading for the COSAFA Cup to complete one of the most solid Zambian teams assembled for the tournament since 2008.
SuperSport United striker Gampani Lungu, Justin Shonga of Cape Town City, Polokwane City midfielder Salulani Phiri and Augustine Mulenga of Amazulu are all in the team.
Black Leopards midfielder Roderick Kabwe plus ex-Zambia Under-20 goalkeeper Bradley Mweene of Portuguese fourth tier club AD Sanjoanense complete the nine overseas COSAFA call-ups.
“No one treats a friendly lightly and the same goes for the COSAFA Cup. It is not an small tournament because it has opened doors for a lot of players and some who will be very fortunate may even find themselves in Europe,” Kabaso said.
Chipolopolo are in Group B alongside Malawi, Comoros and Madagascar.
Zambia will play Comoros in their opening game on July 7.