Zambia battle to save their 2016 CAF African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifying campaign on Saturday when they host Namibia in a must-win game.
Chipolopolo head into this weekend’s first round, final leg fixture trailing Namibia 2-1 from the first leg played on June 21 in Windhoek, a match in which the visitors squandered a 1-0 first half lead.
The result has put Zambia on the verge of a third successive elimination from the Chan qualifiers.
Zambia have not qualified to the Chan tournament since finishing third at the inaugural 2009 tournament hosted by Ivory Coast.
There is added personal pressure ahead of the match on coach George Lwandamina to pick up progress after failing to lead Zambia to the 2011 tournament in Sudan when they were eliminated by South Africa 2-1 on aggregate in his first brief two-match stint in 2010.
Furthermore, Zambia face a Namibia side that has already beaten them twice this year alone in a space of one month.
The first defeat came on May 24 at the 2015 Cosafa Cup tournament in Rustenburg, South Africa where Namibia won 5-4 on post-match penalties in a quarterfinal match following a scoreless result at fulltime.
Zambia coach George Lwandamina said he was confident his team would redeem themselves and advance to the final qualifying stage in October.
A 1-0 home win will be enough for Zambia to eliminate Namibia on away goals rule and advance to the final qualifying stage in October.
“We have enough depth in the team to win this match, we scored in Namibia why can’t we score here. We can’t lose three times in a row, “ Lwandamina said.
Meanwhile, the winner over both legs will face victor of the Mozambique versus Seychelles first round tie.
Mozambique are favourites to advance to October’s final qualifying round after they defeated The Seychelles 5-1 in their first leg on June 20 ahead of Saturday’s meeting in Victoria.