PANICKING CONGO-Reshuffle the team, hitman Shabani Nonda dropped
BY Joy Ndovi
15:46:44 - 23 September 2008

The Flames' last hurdle in the World Cup Africa zone qualifier, Democratic Republic of Congo, are panicking as the countdown to the crucial Group 12 game slowly draws towards the D-day.

Faced with the dilemma of whether to maintain the team that lost 1-0 to Egypt in their last game, or to use the same team that beat Malawi 1-0, French coach Patrice Neveu has made some major changes to the squad that goes into camp this week in preparation for the October 11 game in Blantyre.

The Leopards coach has dropped his captain Shabani Nonda from his 20 man squad that has three locals, Tresor Mputu, Robert Kidiaba (TP Mazembe ) and Gladys Bokese (Daring Club).

Also dropped are Christopher Oualembo of Spain's Levante, Tresor Kandol of Leeds United and the German-based Cedric Makiadi and Kosi Saka.

French-born midfielder Granddi Ngoyi, who made his debut at Paris St Germain last season, has also earned first call up for the crucial qualifier.

Belgian-based midfielder Zola Matumona is ruled out after he accumulated another yellow card in their last game against Egypt.

The coach told DR Congo press that the decision to drop the regulars like captain Nonda, was based on the performance of the players in the last game.

"My choice is based on my analysis of the last game," Neveu told DR Congo radio. "It is a decision that I have taken as part of my responsibility as coach."

However, the coach, who invited an avalanche of criticism after including injured Al Arabi hit-man Tresor Lomana LuaLua in the last game, has once again gambled to include the Qatar-based forward in the squad.

Fam Chief Executive Officer Charles Nyirenda described the Leopards as fear-stricken due to what he called lack of confidence.

"They know that they beat us because of that dubious penalty," he said. "Other wise they are not our match and they will be disappointed next month."

Reiterating the CEO's words, Sulom executive member Major Fredrick Mkaka, who is in DR Congo on Africa Union peace keeping mission said the Congolese were panicking ahead of the game.

"Psychologically they are already defeated. They are trying everything possible to prepare for the game but their problems are still there," Mkaka said.

"I watched the game against Egypt and I also have watched their training sessions. Their weakest part is the striking force because unlike the Flames, they can't score due to finishing problems."

Mkaka also said the players were disgruntled due to allowances problems after the DR Congo FA delayed in paying the squad.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm: +250-08470205
Home: +250-55104140
P.O. Box 3867
East Africa
Blog: http://www.cepgl.blogspot.com
Skype ID : Kayisa66

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