COACH Fighton Simukonda has regretted the failure by his lads to convert the many scoring chances after losing 2-1 to Tunisia at the on-going Caf Under-23 Africa Nations tournament in Dakar, Senegal.
And striker Patrick Ngoma is likely to miss the second group stage match against South Africa due to a leg injury sustained during the Tunisia game.
Goals in both halves by Haithem Jouini gave Tunisia the much needed win at the tournament.
Jouin opened the lead in the fourth minute with a header but Zambia’s striker Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba levelled the scores in the 15th minute. Jouin sealed off the day with a late goal in the 84th minute.
Simukonda said it was unfortunate that the boys created many chances but could not convert them.
“It was a 50/50 affair but Tunisia made sure that they utilised the last chance in the 84th minute. In football you miss some and convert some, but my boys missed more. I regret that we wasted the chances,” he said.
He said the boys still had a chance to redeem themselves in the remaining two group matches.
“We have to beat South Africa at all cost. I believe there is still chance for redemption. The last two games are a must win,” he said.
Meanwhile, team doctor Dr. Mwila Lupasha said Ngoma needed 72 hours observation before the next match.
He however said Kampamba did not sustain any injury but a strained muscle.
“Kampamba did not suffer any injury; he just experienced some pain on his right leg. It could have been caused by fatigue but generally he is in good condition. He is most likely to be selected for the next match subject to how he performs in training,”
“For Ngoma, we shall monitor his progress and see how he does in the next 48/72hrs. Otherwise he is fine; he does not have a fracture so we are managing him with painkillers and seeing to it that the limb is not swollen,” he said.
Ngoma sustained the injury after an awkward fall in a bid to clear the ball.
South Africa and Zambia are lying at the bottom with no points while Tunisia and Senegal share three points apiece.
Zambia clashes with South Africa tomorrow in a must-win game for both teams to keep their hopes of Rio 2016 Olympics alive.
The top three finishers in the knockout round at the eight-team championship will represent Africa at the 2016 Olympic Games football tournament in Brazil.