(By Darious Kapembwa and Tobias Phiri)
THE Zambia Under-20 national team will be looking to book a place to the next round of the Total CAF U-20 Niger AfCON qualifiers when they host Rwanda at Nkoloma Stadium this afternoon.
The Junior Chipolopolo carry a two-goal advantage over the junior wasps from last week’s 2-0 win in Kigali with goals from talisman Francisco Mwepu which put the Charles Bwale tutored side firmly in control going into this afternoon’s fixture.
But Bwale is refusing to be carried away by that win describing the game in Kigali as ‘water-under-the-bridge.’
“We have done well with away, a game that is now water under the bridge and now coming home to play with this two-goal cushion,” Bwale said.
“It’s a game we need to win in front of our home fans but we ask fans to be patient as it will be a new experience for this one month old team playing at home,” he added.
Bwale will still retain the faith in young Mwepu who is proving to be the focal point person in this new team.
A winner between Zambia and Rwanda will face the winner between Sudan and Burundi who also face-off in Khartoum today having played to a 1-1 draw in Bujumbura.
The first legs of the next round of qualifiers should Zambia make it to the next round will be played on July 13 at home with the return match on July 20.
Rwanda coach Vincent Mashami is refusing to back down saying his team lost the battle and not the war.
“It’s a very crucial game, that’s why we love the game because it’s never predictable. We still have 90 minutes to play. We lost the battle but we have not lost the war. That’s why we are here, we have got confidence in ourselves but it’s not going to be easy. The war is still on. It’s a high mountain, we have seen it happen elsewhere…we are here and ready for the battle,” said Mashami.