Zambia National Team Stand-in Coach Aggrey Chiyangi says today’s match against Niger is an important match ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers.
Speaking in a pre-match conference, Chiyangi said that the team was in Niger to get the best out f the friendly match that is scheduled to be played this afternoon.
Chiyangi says the match this afternoon is good for the players as it will expose them to the international stage ahead of Algeria match in the AFCON Qualifiers as well as the CHAN squad that is preparing for the Eswatini return leg.
“Our team has come here in order to prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers, we have a game against Algeria in November, it was so good for us to be given a chance to come and play Niger. It is an important preparatory match for us because we have to make sure the team is well prepared as play against Algeria.”
Chiyangi said the team was in good sharp and that all is set for today’s match to be played at Stade General Seyin Kaunlche in Niamey.
“The team is in good sharp, we are just waiting for the last group that will arrive today (Yesterday). Otherwise, all is set for the game,” Chiyangi said.
The Chipolopolo Boys have missed on two consecutive AFCON editions and Chiyangi is optimistic that the friendly match will help Zambia’s quest to the next AFCON in 2021.
Chiyangi said the technical bench has been doing everything to ensure that the Chipolopolo Boys bounce back to the supreme African Nations competition on the continent.
“I think we have gone through a process after the 2012 AFCON. We have missed on the other qualifications but through all this time, we have been doing our best to try and come back to where Zambia is supposed to be.”
Chiyangi says Zambia needs to prepare well for the Afcon qualifiers if they are to make it to the next edition of the term and observed that Zambia has a team that can take the nation to the AFCON.
“We are happy that at least we have a team that can give hope as we start our preparations for the qualifiers that we will qualify for the next Africa Cup of Nations. You have to understand that basically most of the players that played in the 2012 Africa Cup most of them have reached their peak.”
Chiyangi said Zambia should look beyond the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winning legends and become a team that can once again conquer Africa.
“Therefore if we have to plan for the next Africa Cup, we have to look at two years from now, how old will be those players? How will be their performance? So basically some of the players are still around playing, depending on their performance they can be considered. For now, we have a team that is ready and become a team that is conquering Africa.”
On the match, Chiyangi says he has little knowledge about Niger apart from watching some video of their past matches. He said he will know about Niger when the match starts by observing how the team will line up and the tactical changes they will make.
“I think knowledge about Niger is the games we have watched them play before. Today I don’t know what players they have in the team or whatever formation they are going to use. I think in football it is very easy because we know what happens. Even as we play against them what is important for us is to have a plan against them. But has the game starts we will try to see what they are trying to do and what formation they are going to use,” Chiyangi said.
Zambia will play Niger this afternoon in an international friendly match at the Stade General Seyin Kaunlche in Niamey.
The match will kickoff at 15:30 Central African Time.