COACH George Lwandamina says the Chipolopolo cannot afford to lose three times in a row to Namibia and are targeting victory when the sides meet in Saturday’s Rwanda 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) first round return leg at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
And Namibia arrived in Lusaka yesterday with coach Ronny Kanalelo warning his players against complacency.
“We cannot lose to Namibia for the third time. We will not sit and watch them beat us. That is why we are attaching great importance to the game.
“We will do everything possible to ensure we beat Namibia and qualify to the next round,” said Lwandamina after his side beat Red Arrows 1-0 in a training match at Nkoloma Stadium yesterday.
The national team scored a penalty through forward Moses Phiri.
Eventual winners Namibia beat Zambia 5-4 on penalties in the quarter-finals at the Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup in Rustenburg, South Africa, on May 24, and won 2-1 in the CHAN first round first leg in Windhoek on June 21.
The Chipolopolo need a 1-0 victory to progress to the last round.
Lwandamina is happy that defender Christopher Munthali and midfielder Allan Mukuka are back in training.
Munthali has recuperated from pain in the right groin while Mukuka was unwell.
Lwandamina also said there is enough manpower to replace the four injured players that will miss the decisive match.
The quartet includes defender Boyd Mkandawire, midfielders Justin Zulu and Shadreck Malambo and striker Jimmy Ndhlovu.
“We have done three quarters of the work and the boys have worked so well. We don’t have to be pessimistic. We have enough depth to replace the injured. We will miss their individual services because they have their own attributes, otherwise we have enough manpower. We will do anything possible that will warrant victory,” Lwandamina said.
Meanwhile, Kanalelo expects a tough match against Zambia.
“We are comfortable with a 2-1 lead but that should not be used as an advantage. If they [Zambia] punch we also have to punch. We are not here to attack nor defend but to score more goals and qualify for the next round.
“We know Zambia is wounded. But we will not leave any room for error because we have come here for business even though we will not have it easy playing at Zambia’s home soil,” said Kanalelo in an interview at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka yesterday.
He declared the Brave Warriors ready for battle.
“We might have one or two injuries but that is not an issue. All the players are ready, they know what we are here for. Any mistake will be regrettable,” Kanalelo said.
And skipper Henrich Isaacks is confident the Brave Warriors will qualify to the next round.
Namibia’s High Commissioner to Zambia Leonard Nambahu, who received the team, urged the players to work hard.
The Namibia team:
Charles Uirab, Lloyd Kazapua, Edward Maova, Tiberius Lombaard, Denis Tjetinda, Denzil Haoseb, Ananias Gebhardt, Gregory Aukumeb, Ferdinand Karongee and Charles Hambira.
The rest are Dynamo Fredericks, Peter Shalulile, Benyamin Nenkavu, Absalom Imbondi, Wangu Gome, Heini Isaacks, Itamunua Keimuine, Joslin Kamatuka, Sadney Urikhob and Terdius Uiseb.