CHIPOLOPOLO skipper Christopher Katongo says he will fight for victory in this Friday’s crucial Group D 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier against Ghana.
And China-based striker James Chamanga joined the Chipolopolo yesterday while the South Africa-based trio of Kennedy Mweene, Davies Nkausu and Joseph Musonda were expected in the evening.
Katongo said in a telephone interview from China on Saturday night that he and his colleagues are going to Kumasi to win.
Katongo, who turned 31 on Saturday, said his desire is to guide the Chipolopolo to the maiden World Cup finals.
“I am 31 today (Saturday) and you know what this means. The next World Cup will be in 2018 and by that time I will be old. Time is not on my side and I will fight in Kumasi like a soldier. We are going to Kumasi to win,” said Katongo, who celebrated his birthday with Henan Jienye players, officials and fans.
He said he was humbled to hear Jienye fans sing the birthday song for him.
Katongo said in football anything can happen and the Chipolopolo should believe in themselves as they face the Black Stars at Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
Katongo left China yesterday and is expected to join the Chipolopolo today.
He said Zambians will see a different Chipolopolo side on Friday.
“I will go to Kumasi to fight for my country. I want to achieve something in my career,” Katongo said.
He urged Zambians not to lose hope.
Katongo reminded Zambians that in 2007 the Chipolopolo were on the verge of missing out on the 2008 Ghana Africa Cup of Nations finals but the then Patrick Phiri tutored side thumped South Africa 3-1 in Cape Town to top the group.
Katongo scored a hat-trick in that game.
He said Ghana will underrate Zambia at their own peril.
Katongo has scored seven goals in 22 games for Jienye, who are competing in the first division.
He also recalled how the Chipolopolo defied all odds to win the Africa Cup last year.
Ghana have 12 points, one better than Zambia.
Football Association of Zambia communications manager Erick Mwanza said coach Herve Renard will have a complete squad today.
Europe-based stars Roger Kola, Chisamba Lungu, Emmanuel Mayuka, Jacob Mulenga and Fwayo Tembo are expected in camp today and so are the Democratic Republic of Congo-based quartet of Hichani Himoonde, Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala and Stopilla Sunzu.
And Chipolopolo doctor Joseph Kabungo said Mukuka Mulenga trained with his teammates yesterday.
Kabungo said Mulenga completed training without complaining of pain.
“I was with the Mamelodi Sundowns doctor yesterday (on Saturday) and I had a nice chat with him. He gave me the programme and told me that Mukuka had four training sessions with Sundowns. He trained without pain today (yesterday) with his colleagues. He now has to strive to get to his best,” he said.
Zambia vs Ghana