By Noel Munzabwa
Exactly six days after Zimbabwe Mighty Warriors’ “7dlam” over Eswatini’s Sitsebe semnikati at the ongoing Cosafa Women Challenge in Port Elizabeth, another Zimbabwean, Thabani Kamusoko is set to be part of a Zesco United seeking to frustrate this country’s emissaries Green Mamba.
The Zambia soccer giants are expected for Saturday’s 2019/20 Total Caf Champions League preliminary round first leg set for Mavuso Sports Centre — exactly a year after a triumphant visit — seeking nothing less than a victory.
Zesco were here without a Zimbabwean on 18 August 2018 for a group match in which a Lazarus Kambole hat-trick earned them a 3-0 win at the same venue.
While for Eswatini eyes will be on Green Mamba, the side that was knocked out by FC Platinum in their debut safari in Africa, the Zambia community focus on Zesco, Kamusoko will steal Zimbabwe’s attention to himself.
The Warriors midfielder who was part of the FC Platinum side that prevailed over Green Mamba 8-2 on aggregate, joined Zesco United last month from Tanzania outfit Young Africans and will be praying for a debut start to a new soccer life.
While no comment could be obtained from Kamusoko, Zesco on Wednesday announced the former FC Platinum midfielder as one of the 18 players set to travel to Eswatini for the Mamba tie.
According to Lusaka Times four players are set for continental debut.
“New signing Saviour Nkonkola is one of four continental debutants in Zesco United’s travelling party for this weekend’s 2019/2020 Caf Champions League preliminary round, first leg away date against Eswatini champions Black (Green) Mamba.
“Nkonkola joined Zesco in the off-season from demoted Prison Leopards and caught the attention of the champions after he struck a brace against them in a 5-2 away league loss in Ndola last May.
“Uganda striker Umaru Kasumba, who also arrived in the off-season, and Japanese midfielder Kosuke Nakamachi, who joined last term, are also in Zesco’s 23-member travelling party to Manzini.
“Zimbabwe midfielder Thabani Kamusoko, who joined Zesco from Tanzanian giants Simba SC (Young Africans) in this off-season, has also made the team,” read the Lusaka Times.
Will Kamusoko get a second cherry of Mamba and double his delight just like in 2012?
The Eswatini outfit suffered a 2-4 defeat in the first leg in which Welile Maseko and Mcebo Mdluli were on target which was not enough to halt FC Platinum Donald Ngoma brace, Allan Gahadzikwa and Ali Sadiki’s solitary contributions.
The tie moved to Zimbabwe soil somewhere in the Midlands Province.
The second leg at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane proved merely academic as the then Rahman Gumbo-coached Zimbabwe emissaries cruised to a 4-0 drubbing of the then Lloyd Mutasa-coached side courtesy of Charles Sibanda (brace), Joel Ngodzo and Gahadzikwa goals on 3 March 2012.
And Mutasa faced a lot of flak from the 2-8 aggregate defeat while Kamusoko celebrated with FC Platinum.
GOALKEEPERS: Jacob Banda, Dieudonne Ntibahezwa, Samson Banda.
DEFENDERS: Simon Silwimba, Shemmy Mayembe, Solomon Sakala, David Owino, Marcel Kalonda, Mwila Phiri, Clement Mulenga.
MIDFIELDERS: Kondwani Mtonga, Misheck Chaila, John Chingandu, Edward Tembo,Kosuke Nakamachi, Thabani Kamusoko, Mwape Mwelwa.
FORWARDS: Jesse Were, Quadri Kola, Saviour Nkonkola, Umaru Kasumba, Logic Chingandu. B-Metro