After a winning starting in the Under-20 Africa Cup, Zambia coach Beston Chambeshi has set his eyes on Mali too to secure a semi-final slot with victory on Wednesday.
Chambeshi expressed satisfaction with the 1-0 victory over Guinea in the opening match of the 2017 Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations played at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Sunday.
After a goalless first half, it was Man-of-the-Match Patson Daka who scored the only goal of the match in the 48th minute after he was set up by substitute Emmanuel Banda who had replaced Conlyde Luchanga two minutes before the break.
The FC Liefering forward got past defender Mamadou Diaby before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Sekouba Camara
Chambeshi said he was happy with the victory and singled out goalkeeper Mangani Banda for an outstanding performance.
"It wasn't easy playing Guinea because their tactical approach was good. Overall I am happy that my boys applied themselves well, they looked sharp and especially our goalkeeper our made two important saves. In our collective play we were able to show that we have a strong team.
"It is a sweet victory and I am happy that we have started on a good note. We will now focus on our next match," Chambeshi said.
Meanwhile, Guinea coach Mandjou Diallo said the defeat was not the end of the road for his team.
"In the first half we played well, we tried to balance the game and in the second half we did the same but we left some empty spaces which our opponents took advantage of and punished us.
"It is regrettable that we started with a loss but we have picked some lessons from this match which we will rectify in our next game. We are not supposed to make simple mistakes in such games. We wanted to at least to equalize to get a draw but that did not happen. We lost but we are not out because the result is not the end of the road for us in this competition. We will now focus on our next match," said Diallo.
Zambia will face Mali on Wednesday before tackling Egypt on Saturday to conclude Group A fixtures.