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Zambia coach to miss under-23 match

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By Peter Kanjere:

Malawi under-23 national football team Coach, Meke Mwase, has refused to read too much into reports that his Zambian counterpart, Beston Chambeshi, will miss next week’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier between the junior Flames and Chipolopolo.

“We are focusing on our players and how they are training. It does not matter whether our counterparts will bring their coach or not because, at the end of the day, it is the players who will do the job,” Mwase said Tuesday.

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The Daily Times had asked for his reaction to Lusaka Times newspaper report that Chambesi would be pre-occupied with his club Nkana Rangers’ away Confederation Cup match against Al Hilal in Sudan that week.

The Group C qualifying match is decisive for Nkana, who lead with nine points, one point ahead of Al Hilal, whereas Asante Kotoko and Zambia’s Zesco have six and four points, respectively.

Nkana’s defender Harrison Musonda will also miss the trip to Blantyre.

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Malawi host Zambia on March 20 followed by the reverse fixture four days later in Lusaka, with either Congo Brazaville or Burundi waiting for the overall winner.

Lusaka Times reported that assistant Coach Bilton Musonda will take charge of Zambia in the absence of the 2017 Afcon under-20 and Cosafa-winning coach (Chambeshi).

Zambia arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday to step up preparations before flying to Malawi for the game alongside foreign-based players such as Austria-based strikers Patson Daka, Fashion Sakala and winger Enock Mweepu.

Portugal-based Boston Muchindu will fly straight to Malawi. Mwase and his charges have just returned from Egypt, where they lost 2-0 to their counterparts after stopping over from Belgium, where the junior Flames played training matches.

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