Zambian Watchdog

Kalaba to miss crucial tie against Uganda due to injury

October 08
11:44 2012

Star midfielder Rainford Kalaba will not make the team for Zambia’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Uganda after sustaining a groin injury during club commitment on Sunday.

Kalaba suffered the injury when he featured against Esperance of Tunisia who stayed on course for a second consecutive Orange CAF Champions League title by forcing a 0-0 draw at TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo Sunday in the semi-finals.

Kalaba is ruled out of action for over seven days and will only resume light training after the weekend Zambia would have played Uganda in a decisive final round, return leg qualifier at Namboole Stadium in Kampala.

The news is a huge blow to coach Herve Renard’s team after they set up base in South Africa on Sunday where they started getting ready for this Saturday’s clash.

Sources in DRC told the Watchdog that Kalaba this morning went to the clinic for medication.

In an interview, the Zambian playmaker said he was disappointed that he wont be able to feature for his country but was confident that his teammates will produce a good result against Uganda.

As the Zambian legion at TP Mazembe players were boarding their flight out of Lubumbashi to Johannesburg this morning, Kalaba remained behind in the Democratic Republic of Congo where medical staff were attending to his groin injury.

In the same game, Zambia’s Africa Cup of Nations-winning defender Stoppila Sunzu was sent off during the closing stages in Southern Congolese mining city Lubumbashi after being cautioned a second time and is automatically barred from the return game.

His dismissal in a fiery clash that produced four yellow cards to each team completed a disappointing afternoon for Mazembe, who thrashed Esperance 5-0 at home in the first leg of the 2010 final.

The Tunisians comfortably contained the home team during the first half, but had a few scares after half-time as Mazembe increased the tempo in search of a first-leg advantage.

Unmarked Mbwana Samata nodded just over, goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia pushed away a stinging shot, and Ngandu Kasongo squandered a great chance to break the deadlock by firing wide in stoppage time.

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