CHIPOLOPOLO coach Sven Vandenbroek says Zambia’s chances of qualifying to next year’s AfCON became mathematical the moment they lost the first group game at home to Mozambique. And Sven has remained upbeat about making to the finals saying he would resign if he did not believe Zambia will qualify. Meanwhile, Sven says he prefers Namibia to win today’s Group K game against Mozambique which will put pressure on Mozambique ahead of Zambia’s visit next month.
Zambia remains rooted bottom of Group K on four points after losing 2-1 to Guinea Bissau at the Estadio 24 de Septembro in Bissau on Sunday. The result means that Guinea top the group with seven points awaiting today’s result between Namibia and Mozambique who are also tied on four points. Striker Justin Shonga gave travelling fans some belief when he opened the scores with a well struck free kick in the 12th minute.
Shonga’s exquisite strike came four minutes after disappointing Enock Mwepu fluffed a one-on-one chance that could have given Zambia the lead. But the home team rallied, capitalising on Zambia’s weakest points, the wing backs. Piqueti Brito easily beat struggling right back Solomon Sakala and his cross was deflected in the goal by defender Stophila Sunzu in the 53rd minute.
The home team that had struggled believed again after 10 minutes of the equaliser, this time from the left flank where a foul was committed and captain Luis ‘Zezinho’ Mendes’ free kick was nodded in by Toni Silva to seal victory.
“We will have to win our next two games then we will qualify. If I say we can’t then it is better I resign, but we are going to have to win our next two games,” he said. “I think we didn’t keep the ball enough we couldn’t keep the ball unlike three days ago in Lusaka. We lost it too easily. We started running with the ball instead of playing with it that’s one of the main reasons and of course we don’t have the dominance on set-pieces, unlike them. We don’t have that power in our team that they have on set-pieces…qualifying for AfCON was already mathematics after the first game…I wasn’t thinking about the question about the result between Namibia and Mozambique but I will say let Namibia win.”
Zambia’s penultimate qualifier will be against Mozambique on November 16 in Maputo while the last match will be on March 22 against Namibia./