CHIPOLOPOLO Under-17 national soccer team will this evening face hosts Niger in a must-win penultimate Group A match at the 2015 youth Africa Cup of Nations.
Junior Chipolopolo are third in Group A on zero points after losing 1-0 to second placed Guinea in their opening match on Sunday.
Niger is bottom of Group A on goal difference after they lost 2-0 to leaders Nigeria on the same day.
The Chris Kaunda boys will today be seeking to maximize points and revive their hopes of qualifying to the semi-finals.
Striker Kenny Sinkala said he was confident that Zambia will still get to the semi-finals.
Sinkala said that the team has put behind the one-nil loss to Guinea and is now focused on getting into the semi-finals.
“There is nothing we can do about the Sunday game but there is a lot we can do in the remaining two games against Niger and Nigeria,” he said.
Sinkala said the team was not scared of any opposition and would remain focused.
“The reason why we came here is to qualify to the World Cup first and then focus on winning the Africa Youth Championship Cup,” he said.
Sinkala was introduced in the second half of Zambia’s opening match and immediately caused havoc in the Guinea goalmouth.
He made several runs into “enemy” territory and forced the Guinea side to make a quick substitution to thwart his rampaging attacks.
And Minister of Sport Vincent Mwale said he is confident that the boys will qualify to the semi-finals and finals.
Mwale urged the lads not to lose heart over the Sunday 1-0 loss against Guinea and described it as a minor setback.
“We are very confident as Government that the boys will qualify to the semi-finals and the finals,” he said.
Mwale said there was no need for them to lose heart over their first loss but concentrate on qualifying to the semi-finals.
He said the boys needed to know that Government was behind them and was praying for them.
“We are praying for them so that we do not record any incident of injuries,” he said.
Mwale said the boys should also not forget that when they meet the hosts Niger that each team will have 11 players which on the pitch made it possible for them to collect maximum points.