12 October 2018

Zambia: 'Ball's in Our Hands'

COACH Sven Vandenbroek says qualification to the Cameroon 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals is in Zambia's own hands.

Vandenbroek said in a post-match interview after the Wednesday night 2-1 win over Guinea-Bissau at the Heroes National Stadium that that every game that the Chipolopolo play would be critical to edging closer to clinching the qualification slot.

Wednesday's win lifted Zambia to four points same with Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau while Namibia are bottom with a point.

Mozambique host Namibia on Sunday before they finish their double header clash on Tuesday in Windhoek.

"Equal points with the leaders. Everything is in our hands. Every next game will be critical till we have enough points to go to 2019 AFCON," said Vandenbroek whose side plays Guinea-Bissau again on Sunday.

Vandenbroek said the team might have made some mistakes but they were of no consequence since they won the game.

"The last minutes were difficult. We only had presence of our self which was not good for breathing. The mistakes had no consequences but moving forward we need to be more mature to keep the game and kill it when is 2-0," Vandenbroek said.

After a week which saw the Chipolopolo bickering over the state of Heroes Stadium pitch, Vandenbroek finally thanked the maintenance team for preparing the pitch to his desired preference on the day of the game.

"I want to give compliments to those who maintain the pitch. They woke up early in the morning to cut the grass on the pitch to what I wanted. For what they did, I say thank you," a visibly happy Vandenbroek said.

He added that he was happy that first home game ended in a win and most importantly the support the atmosphere fans gave the team was encouraging.

"The past few days I could feel the tension was there. In the morning of the game, people where cheering and encouraging us. Fans started making noise an hour before the game and that gives you 20 percent more courage and confidence and we won. I am happy with the atmosphere, "he said.

Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau coach Baciro Cande said his side could have done better in the game to score the needed goals.

Cande said his players tried their level best and could have pushed for an equaliser in the second half.

"We did what we could do, maybe our tactics could have been better. The first 30 minutes we were under pressure. We come back in second half managed to score one and we could have scored more," he said.

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