SELF-BELIEF and determination should propel the Under-23 to beat South Africa in the CAF U23 Championships, says Zambia Sports Fans Association (ZASFA) patron Peter Makembo.
Makembo said the team needed to beat their rivals to revive hopes of remaining in the tournament a bit longer as another loss would be a huge blow to the team’s aspirations of continental glory.
He said not all is lost after the team started on a bad note losing 1-2 in their opening match against the North African giants, Tunisia on Saturday.
He said Zambia was capable of beating South Africa this evening and get another positive result against Senegal in the concluding fixture this Friday and qualify to the quarter finals of the tournament.
“All I can say is that not all is lost because the team still has a chance to make it to the quarter finals if we can beat South Africa today and then beat the hosts on Friday. Of course we lost a game which was evenly balanced against Tunisia but we can still get the results if we take a positive attitude to this game,” Makembo said.
He said Zambia played well against Tunisia but lacked concentration in the opening minutes which gifted the North Africans a deserved goal which complicated the game even further.
He said there was no team in the group that was impossible to beat as long as the team played according to plan and believed in itself to get the results it wanted.
He called on the technical bench not to give up after the first defeat but psyche the players further to be positive of carrying a victory as that would spark them to do even better against their arch rivals whom he said were capable of causing an upset if not handled properly.
“South Africa, just like Zambia, will go into this match wounded due to their defeat in the first game against Senegal but we need to foil their attacks by ensuring that we do not give them any room to manoeuver around with the ball. A win will definitely motivate the boys to beat Senegal and qualify from the group,” he said.
Zambia is in Group A with South Africa, Senegal, and Tunisia and lie second from the bottom on the log without a point but enjoy a superior goal aggregate against South Africa, who are tail-enders.
Senegal and Tunisia have three points each with the host sitting at the summit of the table on goal difference.