CHIPOLOPOLO coach Honour Janza has vowed to fight to the end and secure Zambia’s qualification to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals next month.
Zambia, who trounced Niger 3-0 on Wednesday evening in Ndola to revive the hopes of reaching the 2015 AFCON finals, has two decisive Group F ties next month against Mozambique and the Cape Verde.
In a post-match interview after the match at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Janza said the victory over the Menas would act as a catalyst for the Chipolopolo to work harder in the remaining two fixtures which Zambia needed to win to qualify to the prestigious continental football showpiece.
Janza said the victory over Niger gave the players the belief and motivation ahead of the final two games.
He, however, urged his charges to stay focused up to the end and secure qualification to the 2015 AFCON finals.
“After winning against Niger, we have to stay focused up to the end. We have to fight to the end of these qualifiers. Winning any game motivates a team and this victory gives the team motivation for the remaining matches,” the Chipolopolo trainer said.
He also defended teenager Charles Zulu, whom he withdrew in the 35th minute for Chisamba Lungu, saying he did not gamble to start with the Under-20 player in the Niger match.
“In football, there is no gambling. We do local (players) camping and what we do is what we plan for. There is a process (that we follow),” Janza said.
Defender, Stoppila Sunzu, who captained the Chipolopolo on Wednesday, said the team needed to perform even better against Mozambique on November 15.
Sunzu, spotting a haircut with the name of his late sister Leticia written on the right side of his head, said Zambia’s victory came not as a surprise as the team worked hard in training to achieve the result.
Striker Emmanuel Mayuka attributed his first goal for Zambia in two years to hard work and thanked Janza for believing in his scoring abilities.
Mayuka said the Chipolopolo worked hard as team and that his goal against Niger could not have come without team work.
“I thank God for the goal because without God we are nothing. I also thank my team mates because we worked hard together. I also thank the coach for believing in the team and each player. In life, everybody goes through a bad patch. I worked hard and it has paid off. I should continue working hard,” he said.
Niger captain Moussa Mazzou said it was disappointing to lose the match especially after the Menas had managed to hold the Chipolopolo for almost an hour before goals started to rain.
Mazzou said Rainford Kalaba’s goal changed the game as the Menas were forced to push forward and took some risks which the Chipolopolo capitalised on to pump two more goals.
Zambia will face Mozambique at the Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto in Maputo on November 15 before hosting the Cape Verde four days later at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.