NATIONAL team coach George Lwandamina has urged players to put behind Sunday’s defeat to Egypt and focus on Saturday’s 2016 Rwanda African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Mozambique.
Zambia lost 0-3 in an international friendly at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Lwandamina said from Abu Dhabi on Sunday night that the loss is history and the match was a befitting friendly ahead of the clash against Mozambique and the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifier against Sudan.
“Let’s put the loss behind and focus on future assignments. Yes, we made a few mistakes but the result was not a true reflection of how we played. The boys put up a gallant fight but it is a starting point which is good for us. We will be able to do well in the next two games. The lesson is huge for us to be able to do well,” he said.
Zambia take on Mozambique in the CHAN last round first leg at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Saturday.
Lwandamina said the loss does not mean the Egyptians had an easy match.
“A loss is a loss but that does not mean all was bad. What is important is for each and every player to reflect on how they performed in the game at personal level,” he said.
Chipolopolo vice-captain Nathan Sinkala said the weather partially affected the team’s performance.
“It was too hot but they gave us good training. We just have to try and work on finishing because we created chances but never scored. It was a good game and we drew positives. Egypt is a big team,” Sinkala said.
Defender Stopilla Sunzu also attributed the defeat to the weather.
“It was a good friendly because it exposed our weaknesses and we have learnt from the loss. The game was very important to us as we prepare for Sudan. We just have to remain confident and focused,” Sunzu said.
Lwandamina used Kennedy Mweene in goal; Benedict Chepeshi, Boyd Mkandawire, Stopilla Sunzu and Buchizya Mfune were in defence.
Jackson Chirwa, Nathan Sinkala, Chisamba Lungu and Lubambo Musonda were controlling proceedings in midfield.
In the second-half, Dauti Musekwa replaced Chisamba while Donashano Malama went in for Lubambo.
Collins Mbesuma and Winston Kalengo were in attack. Red Arrows striker Festus Mbewe was introduced for Mbesuma.
Portuguese outfit Sporting Braga striker Ahmed Hassan bagged a brace to inspire Egypt to victory ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifying race.
Hassan silenced Zambia in the third minute when he shot past Mweene and completed his brace on 48 minutes.
Al Ahly striker Amr Gamal completed the rout in added time.
And delegation leader Pivoty Simwanza said the result did not reflect what transpired on the pitch.
“We played well and the result did not reflect our performance on the pitch. Today’s [Sunday] performance gives us hope for the future of this team,” Simwanza said.
The team last evening proceeded to Ndola to continue with preparations for the match against Mozambique.