Sport Daka, Sakala, Mwepu can inspire Zambia to the World Cup - Kamanga
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Rangers fans may have been having a party on what was, for many, a return to Ibrox after almost a year and a half away, but it was more serious stuff for Steven Gerrard against Brighton. © Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard pitched his side into the first of two friendlies this weekend. (Phot... Graham Potter fielded an alternative XI after half-time, but the Rangers manager opted against the sort of wholesale line-up changes that disrupt these friendlies, staggering substitutions throughout the scoreless draw with one eye on competitive action returning in a week and another on 90 minutes against Real Madrid tomorrow.
Football Association of Zambia president Andrew Kamanga has pegged the country's World Cup qualification dream on Fashion Sakala, Enock Mwepu and Patson Daka.
The three Chipolopolo stars secured moves to new European clubs where they have already taken part in the pre-season programmes, and Kamanga, noting their progress so far, has stated how they promise a brighter future.
"In Europe, our boys that have broken new ground have been making the right noise as they settle into their new environs,".
"It may still be early days to make any wild pronouncements, but we are extremely happy with what we are seeing so far in Scotland, where [Fashion] Sakala who is on the books of giants Glasgow Rangers, coached by the legendary Steven Gerrard, is settling in admirably well.
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Fashion Sakala hit his first goal in Rangers colours and warned “big things are coming” from the Zambian striker and he and his team-mates are ready for the new campaign. © Fashion Sakala joined Rangers from Oostende this summer (Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via... With six days to go until the start of the cinch Premiership, Steven Gerrard’s side won their final warm-up match against a strong yet star-shorn Real Madrid 2-1 with an impressive Ibrox display ahead of facing Livingston in Saturday’s curtain-raiser.
"We saw flashes of what we already know with that goal against Real Madrid announcing his arrival at Ibrox. Just across in England, [Enock] Mwepu and [Patson] Daka have also joined their clubs for pre-season at Brighton and Leicester, where they have seamlessly blended in.
"By now everyone knows how they are faring, and our hope is that they keep pushing to break new ground. It is by having more players in top European leagues that we can have greater chances of taking our national team to the World Cup, which remains an elusive target."
The federation's top official is hoping the trio will open more doors for many Zambian footballers to enter into the European football market: "Currently, we are yet to make a lasting footprint in the top European leagues to open doors for more talents to showcase their talent," he added.
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Steven Gerrard has given his team two days of recovery before the competitive kick-off and their domestic title defence against Livingston. © Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group) Then it will be back to reality after two weekend games in 24 hours gave Rangers fans food for thought, but victory over Real Madrid has whet the appetite for the new season.
"The success of our current crop of players on European soil will inspire many others to dream of making it in the top leagues. We are proud of what our boys in Sweden, Russia, Poland, and Austria, among others, are doing.
"Our prayer is that some of our best talents plying their trade domestically and on the African continent can step up and make a move into the top world leagues a realistic target. We believe that once the World Cup qualifiers kick off on September 1, 2021, we can count on the form of some of our top players.
After failing to qualify for the African Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon, and coupled with a poor performance in Cosafa, Zambia made a technical change by relieving Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic of his duties as coach.
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Manager Steven Gerrard will be without striker Fashion Sakala who is carrying a knock after the Malmo defeat.The Croat missed the whole of last season with a knee injury, but played 70 minutes for the B team against Dumbarton and came through unscathed.