Zambia captain Ziyo Tembo insists Saturday’s second leg of the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Kenya 2018 qualifier against Swaziland is not formality.
The Chipolopolo, bronze winners at the maiden edition of the CHAN in 2009 (in Cote d’Ivoire) were 4-0 winners in the first leg played away in Lobamba last week.
However, captain Tembo has said they are approaching the match with the seriousness it deserves despite the healthy margin they are taking into the weekend’s clash in Lusaka.
Definitely, we cannot underrate Swaziland and we cannot take anything away from them.
They are a good side and we just have to work to the best of our abilities with the right attitude and everything will be fine, he said.
The Zanaco defender also indicated added the result showed that coach Wedson Nyirenda’s five months CHAN team project was now producing its fruits after playing three friendlies and as many competitive games before kicking off the qualifiers last week.
This is despite Zambia losing 3-1 to Zimbabwe in the final of the regional COSAFA Cup across the border in South Africa, a week prior to the CHAN first leg trip to Swaziland.
Everyone has been given a chance and it is now just up to us to prove to the coach that you can deliver on the day, Tembo added.
The Zambians head into the match without any injury or suspensions though defender Solomon Sakala has withdrawn to attend trials abroad, forcing Nyirenda to recall his Junior Chipolopolo defensive partner Moses Nyondo of Nkana.
Meanwhile, a prospective final qualifying round date awaits Zambia against regional archrivals South Africa next month (August) should Nyirenda’s men complete the job without a hitch.
For now, we are taking it a game at a time. We are just focusing on Swaziland and we are not looking at South Africa. The win over Swaziland (in the first leg) is now behind us.
We are starting afresh and are looking forward to this weekend’s game, Tembo concluded.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football