ZAMBIA needs to beat Mozambique to make a historic qualification to the 2016 Colombia World Cup when the two clash in a third and fourth play-off at the Africa Cup of Nations at Ellis Park arena in Johannesburg.
The Zambian team failed to qualify to the finals of the tournament after losing 5-4 to Egypt in the semi-finals on Friday night.
Neighboring Mozambique also lost 4-1 to Morocco in the other semi-finals match played on Friday night.
With three slots given to African countries at the World Cup, a win will see Zambia join Egypt and Morocco in the chase for the World Cup title.
Coach Lucio Solazzi described the 5-4 loss as painful but was hopeful that the boys would redeem themselves today.
“We are playing Mozambique tomorrow (today) afternoon but the boys are not under pressure. The boys drew with Mozambique in the final group stage 4-4. We will fight for World Cup qualification . It is a do or die affair,” he said. He said the team had recovered from the loss and is now focusing on today’s crucial match.
“It is a crucial match for us and we will not take any chances. The boys understand what is at stake and will surely deliver,” he said.
Meanwhile, Egypt opened the scores in the 13th minute with Mostafa Mohammed scoring a hat-trick.
However, Donald Phiri ended the dry scoring spell for Zambia 10 minutes later reducing the deficit to two.
But Egypt’s Elmoatazzbelilah Abdelhalim netted in the fourth goal for Egypt but Michelo Kaampwe reduced the deficit for Zambia before Adrian Chama levelled the scores.
But Egypt’s winning goal in the last seven minutes of the match was enough to book a place at the World Cup.
Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) technical director Honour Janza said Zambia still had a chance to redeem herself and qualify for the World Cup.
“Not all hope is lost for Zambia. We can still clinch the last remaining slot at the World cup. The boys have really worked so hard and have shown the character of a champion. It is never too late in football,” Janza said.
He said Mozambique was a familiar side and therefore, would not expect Zambia to lose the game easily.
“We played Mozambique in the group stage and believe Zambia can handle our neighbours very well. Their defence can be brought down. The boys just need to stay focused,” he said.
The top three teams will represent Africa at the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia from September 10 to October 1.