CHIPOLOPOLO will this afternoon attempt to swim or sink when they face Mozambique in a must-win 2019 AfCON qualifier at Estadio do Zimpeto in Maputo.
Sven Vandenbroek’s Chipolopolo are bottom of the group on four points, level with Mozambique.
After managing only one group win, two losses and a draw thus far, Zambia is now faced with the task of having to win the two remaining games beginning with this afternoon’s game to have a chance of making it to the finals in Cameroon next year.
Mozambique faces a similar task and will be relishing the opportunity having beaten Chipolopolo in the first leg in Ndola.
The two teams go into this fixture knowing already the outcome in the other group game played yesterday between top teams Guinea Bissau and Ricardo Mannetti’s Namibia which Sven was hoping ends in a draw.
The two teams were at seven points apiece heading into their game and the winner today could replace any of the two top two depending on the weekend’s results.
The Zambian coach would be hoping his lads summon the best of their mental strengths to get a result that sets them on the return to AfCON by the time the last qualifiers are played next year.
“We know we have to win, it will be very important. The players need to be strong mentally playing away from home. At home we have 60,000 supporters behind the team and away we have 40,000 supporters against the team, so that’s why I am saying they need to play with the mental strength,” Sven said of the game.
Sven’s call for mental strength will be dependent on the experience of the likes of skipper Kennedy Mweene, Rainford Kalaba, Stophilla Sunzu, Nathan Sinkala, and Kabaso Chungu to rally the younger ones to victory especially facing a hostile away crowd.
Strikers Justin Shonga, Patson Daka, and Augustine Mulenga should be clinical enough to give the side victory.
Cletus Chama, Enock Mwepu and company will be the key to unlock that stubborn Mambas’ midfield.
Depending on the Belgian’s game plan, Chipolopolo are walking a tight rope and must swim to avoid missing out on the AfCON for a second consecutive time.