COACH Honour Janza says Zambia is still breathing at the ongoing 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) despite losing to Tunisia and can reach the quarter-finals on Monday.
Speaking in the aftermath of Cape Verde and DR Congo grinding out a 0-0 draw in the other Group B match on Thursday, Janza said sharing of the spoils by the two sides gave the Chipolopolo a lifeline at the AFCON.
Janza said despite his charges losing 1-2 to Tunisia earlier on Thursday at Estadio de Ebebiyin, there was still a glimmer of hope that the 2012 AFCON champions could crawl out from the group and qualify to the quarter-finals.
He said Zambia now had no choice but to conjure up a win against Cape Verde in the final group match to progress to the next stage.
“For us it’s not over until it’s over. We won’t die until it’s over. We know a tournament like this one, we have drawn one, we have lost one and now we need to win one. Of course we needed a win yesterday (Thursday) but it couldn’t come our way. But that does not mean we pack our bags. The consolation is that there was a draw which gives us another chance.
“So we will not bank on who wins who but I think our strength will be to win our last match. If we can win the last match, then we can go to the table are check what has happened after that. So we are still breathing, we’re still in existence,” Janza said.
The Chipolopolo trainer promised to work on the weaknesses exposed in the Tunisia match which left Zambia anchoring the group on a single point from two games and remained optimistic of making the last eight.
“We will do our homework where the team made some lapses. We will improve on that so that we maintain our status. We want to come out of the group as the best two because that chance is still with us,” he said.
After losing the Tunisia fixture, Janza bemoaned the Chipolopolo’s failure to convert several scoring chances they wasted.
He said it was difficult for team to win if players were playing to satisfy their personal egos instead of working together as a squad.
Skipper Rainford Kalaba was devastated with the loss and wondered what came into the minds of his colleagues after giving up the lead to lose.
“Today, the mentality was good compared to the first game. I don’t know what came into the mind of my colleagues after we scored. I was shocked to see the way they played. That was not the Zambia I know,” he said during the post-match Press Conference.
First choice goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene was at loss after the devastating defeat by the Carthage Eagles, saying inexperience by some players cost the Chipolopolo the match.
Mweene said it seemed like everybody were playing for themselves and not the team.
Zambia’s fate will be decided on Monday when the Chipolopolo renew their rivalry with the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde as group leaders Tunisia clash with Congo.
[times of zambia]