Mozambique coach, Abel Xavier has declared that the Mambas 1-0 win over 2012 African champions Zambia in their Group J Day One clash, was a serious statement of intent.
The Mambas stunned hosts Zambia 1-0 away in Ndola last Saturday (10 June 2017) in their opening Group K qualifier to record their first-ever win over the Chipolopolo in 20 meetings, courtesy of a 90th minute goal from Stanley Ratifo.
Xavier said his charges had shown belief that anything is possible in football as they bid to end their seven-year absence from the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
I am very proud of my players after working with the team for one-and-a-half years changing things to make things happen.
I believe we prepared very well against a team like Zambia, a team we respect a lot. On Saturday, Mozambique sent an important statement; a statement that these days in modern football, everything is possible.
When you prepare players very well, who are the main protagonist of the game, and they believe they can produce the results, and they can believe that they can be dominant, then you are closer to achieving your objectives, said the former Liverpool defender.
He however cautioned that the milestone win over Zambia was just their first hurdle on the long road to Cameroon.
I don’t want to talk about history because I was not there. Now this is a different scenario, we are changing things, because I found players who are fully committed and I am proud of them.
I believe with the growth process of my team, this result gives us hope of what can happen and if we fight to the end, then we can go through.
It is a very tough group, it will be narrow, and we should respect our opponents but they should also respect us too.”
Mozambique will seek to extend their stay at the summit on Match Day Two next March when they host joint Group K leaders, Guinea Bissau.
Guinea Bissau beat Namibia 1-0 at home in Bissau to join Mozambique on three points.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football