Zambia lost 2-1 to Cape Verde in their second qualifying match of Group F of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations played on Wednesday at the National Stadium in Praia, a result which coach Honor Janza described as shocking. Janza also thought that Rainford Kalaba’s goal which was disallowed for offiside in the 44th minute should have stood. Goals from Jose Luis Mendes de Andrade and substitute Ryan Isaac da Graca Mendes sealed the second successive win for the islanders who now lead the group with six points. Zambia’s goal was scored by Jacob Mulenga from a cross by Rainford Kalaba in the 52nd minute.
Zambia was cautious in the opening exchanges but the introduction of Christopher Katongo and his brother Felix for Donashano Malama and Chisamaba Lungu on 35 minutes allowed the visitors to dominate until the final whistle.
“It was a socking result. I think we dominated them and the three points we lost here were vital for us. But we should not look back. We still have four more matches to play and they will be crucial to our qualification for Morocco 2015. Following the loss here we must consider ourselves lucky that Mozambique and Niger played out a draw.
“This is a wake-up call for us because we cannot rely on results from other matches to remain in contention; no one is going to make us qualify but ourselves. Our players need 100% concentration throughout the ninety minutes. Every player must be disciplined tactically and technically,” he said.
Zambia wasted several chances in front of goal with Rainford Kalaba, Chisamba Lungu and Fwayo Tembo being guilty.
Rainford Kalaba wasted a good chance in the 26th minute when with his back to goal he had his effort from inside the box blocked as he attempted to shoot on the turn from Emmanuel Mbola’s square pass.
On the hour mark Chisamba Lungu managed to get his effort on target but his tame shot was easily saved by Josinar Jose Dias in goal for Cape Verde.
Zambia’s best chance came in the 40th minute when Fwayo Tembo broke on the left flank beating two defenders inside the box but he took too long to shoot and the ball slipped away from him at a crucial moment.
If the strikers were not doing their job, Emmanuel Mbola and Nyambe Mulenga were credited with two off-the-goal-line clearances in the 35th and 36th minutes although by then Zambia was trailing to Andrade’s 32nd minute goal.
Andrade’s goal was an effort from range that hit the top left side of Mweene’s with the Chipolopolo stopper diving at full stretch but his efforts were in vain.
And scorer of Zambia’s only goal Jacob Mulenga has appealed to fans not to lose hope and has called on them to rally behind the time.
“We know that we have not down well and that we have let our fans down. We have worked hard and the results we have had are not what we wanted. The goal I scored today was a bonus for the fans. We will work hard in upcoming matches and we pray that our they will rally behind us,” Mulenga said.