Chipolopolo vice-captain Ziyo Tembo yesterday bragged that there was nothing special about Nigeria as the team left for Ghana for a training camp ahead of Saturday’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier in Uyo.
Tembo said Zambia was ready for battle and every player was focused on getting the win to boost their chances of qualifying for the World Cup. The Zanaco defender said in an interview at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka that the game against Nigeria was just like any other game.
“There is nothing sinister about the Nigeria game, it’s a game like any other we have played before. Yes they have a good side and have quality players and we can’t take that away from them but they are beatable,” Tembo said. Despite Zambia’s not so impressive record against Nigeria with the Chipolopolo last win against the Super Eagles coming 20 years ago in a 2-0 during an international friendly, Tembo said there was no need to dwell on history as the team was looking at creating a new record.
“Nigeria’s dominance over us is history for we are looking at the future and what will matter most in the game is our application on the pitch. We are not inferior to Nigeria, the only difference is that most of our players play in Africa and theirs play in Europe,” he said.
Tembo added that the team would make Zambians proud by beating Nigeria. Assistant coach Aggrey Chiyangi said the game was important as it would determine the Chipolopolo’s fate in the race to Russia. Chiyangi said the Ghana camp was important for the team to jell ahead of the Saturday game.
“We are looking at this game in a positive way and our focus is to win. Football is played on the pitch and what happens there (pitch) is what determines results,” Chiyangi said. Meanwhile, a former national team coach Fred Mwila has reportedly advised the team against complacency following the two wins over Algeria.