Zambia faces South Korea in warm-up
JOHANNESBURG - Agence France-PresseZambia plays in South Korea, Ghana in China and Ivory Coast in Russia tonight as African countries prepare for 2013 Cup of Nations qualifiers next month.
Titleholder Zambia took six of the Cup-winning team -- goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, defender Davies Nkausu, midfielders Chisamba Lungu, Isaac Chansa and skipper Christopher Katongo and striker Emmanuel Mayuka - to Seoul.
CAF Champions League commitments deprive the Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) of defenders Stoppila Sunzu and Hichani Himonde and midfielder Rainford Kalaba from Democratic Republic of Congo club TP Mazembe.
Another Mazembe star, midfielder Nathan Sinkala, is recovering from a facial nerve infection and defender Joseph Musonda, forced to quit the Cup of Nations final against Ivory Coast last February after 12 minutes, remains sidelined.
Showers greeted the visiting squad when it arrived in the South Korean capital and they brought relief from the humid conditions in a city that has fond memories for Zambian football boss Kalusha Bwalya.
He scored a hat-trick in a stunning 4-0 triumph over Italy during the 1988 Olympic Games, an achievement which went a long way toward him being chosen African Footballer of the Year a few months later. A much weaker Zambian team defeated Zimbabwe 2-1 at home last Wednesday as they prepare for a two-leg qualifier against Uganda with the winners advancing to the finals in South Africa next January and February.
Ghana welcomes back United Arab Emirates-based striker Asamoah Gyan from a self-imposed break with the national team.