Former Mamelodi Sundowns star Elias Pelembe has earned a surprise call-up to Mozambique’s Mambas 23-member squad for next month’s dead-rubber World Cup qualifiers against Malawi and Ivory Coast.
Pelembe’s recall is all due to the Mambas new coach Chiquinho Conde who said he does not believe in age as a factor when considering players for national team assignments.
Pelembe, who also played for SuperSport United and Polokwane City, is on the books of Royal AM in South Africa.
“My idea is simple and I think the players will be able to assimilate quickly. Furthermore, everyone has a patriotic mission to represent the country with dignity,” the coach told Mozambique Football Federation website during a press conference.
The coach said he would call the best players regardless of age, also made it known that the criterion for the choice was based on behaviuor, history and current sporting performance .
Conde replaced Portuguese mentor Horácio Gonçalves earlier this week and the former Mambas striker has not wasted time in ringing the changes.
Conde has also summoned back Reginaldo Faite, Clésio Baúque, Gildo Vilanaculos, Mexer Sitóe, Edmilson Dove and Sidique Mussagy.
Mozambique face Ivory Coast on November 13 then Malawi three laters with both games taking place in Benin after the ban of the home venues for the Mambas for failing to meet the standards.
Mambas anchor the table for Group D with one point gained from a home goalless draw against Ivory Coast before losing to Cameroon twice and Malawi once.
Goalkeepers: Ernan Siluane (Fer. Maputo) Victor Guambe (Costa do Sol) and Ivan Urrubal (ABB),
Defenders: Sidique Mussagy (AD Sonho) Fídel de Sousa (ABB) Zainadine Jr (Maritime) Francisco Simbine “Bonera” (Maritime), Edson Sitoe “Mexer” (Bordeaux), Martinho Thauzene (ABB), Reinildo Mandava (Lille), Edmilson Dove (Cape Town City).
Midfielders: Manuel Kambala (Boroka FC), Geraldo Matsinhe (AD Fafe), Geny Catamo (Sporting), Shaquille Nagy (Fer. Maputo), Gildo Vilankulo (Amira FC), Witness Quembo (Madeira National), Clésio Bauque (Maritime) , Elias Pelembe “Dominguez’ (Royal AM), Luís Miquissone (Al-Ahly) and Kamo-Kamo Cumbane (V. Setúbal)
Forwards: Reginaldo Faite (FC Akzhayik) and Dayo António (Fer. Beira).