28 January 2013

Zambia/Togo: I Want Togo in Quarters - Beaumelle

Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Komlan Amewou of Togo battles with Jonathan Pitroipa of Burkina Faso.

Nelspruit — ZAMBIA soccer team assistant coach Patrice Beaumelle says he would prefer the Chipolopolo face Togo in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-finals.

Beaumelle said in an interview at Ka Nyamazane Stadium here yesterday that he would like the Chipolopolo to play Togo from Group D if both teams reached the last eight of the competition in South Africa.

He, however, said the most important thing was to secure qualification from Group C against Burkina Faso tomorrow before thinking of the team he would prefer for Zambia in the last eight of the competition.

"That is a tough one. Ivory Coast qualified and they have a tough team huh! But I think if I was to be given a chance to choose I would go for Togo.

"But we need to wait and see if we get qualification first before talking about who we play," he said.

Ivory Coast became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals from Group D while Tunisia and Togo, both on three points, play each other to see who grabs the second ticket.

The victor between Tunisia and Togo will play the winner of Group C, with Ivory Coast taking on the runner-up in the group for a slot in the semi-finals.

Zambia, on two points in Group C, need to beat leaders Burkina Faso, who have four points, to secure a last eight slot at Mbombela Stadium.

Nigeria could equally clinch a place with a win over Ethiopia in a match to be played tomorrow at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg at 19:00 hours.

Should the two teams tie after the group stage, Confederation of African Football (CAF) would look at the points earned in the match or matches played between the teams concerned before looking at the goal difference in the matches between the teams.

CAF will then look at the number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned and the number of away goals scored in the matches between the teams, and the goal difference in all group matches.

The number of goals scored in all group matches would be looked at and finally drawing of lots by the organising committee would be conducted should the concerned teams still be found tied.

And goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene said it would be advantageous for Zambia to win Group C and remain at Mbombela Stadium which the champions would also use should they qualify for the quarter-finals.

Mweene said the morale was fantastic in camp as all the players were focussed on securing qualification to the quarter-finals.

He was confident that Zambia would be up to the challenge of beating Burkina Faso.

"The spirit in camp is high and all the players are focussed on winning the match against Burkina Faso. As I said before, we are champions and would not give up easily," Mweene said.

Striker Emmanuel Mayuka was equally confident of the Chipolopolo's progression to the next round, saying the team was not under pressure to perform.

He said Zambia would clinch a place by beating Burkina Faso.

"What pressure? It is just that people have been talking a lot but ourselves we are not feeling that pressure as we are taking each game as it comes," said the Southampton striker.

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