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CHIPOLOPOLO assistant coach Aggrey Chiyangi has expressed concern with the striking force as the team jetted into battle zone in readiness for Saturday’s Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) must-win qualifier against Guinea-Bissau.
Chiyangi said the technical bench is under pressure to ensure that Zambia does not miss out on clinching a slot at the AFCON finals after failing to score in the two preparatory matches.
Zambia drew 0-0 against Gambia on Monday night which came four days after losing 1-0 to Togo in another preparatory match.
Chiyangi said in a post-match interview from Gambia yesterday that the team has to work on the striking force and was happy that the two games acted as an eye-opener before playing Guinea-Bissau.
“Zambia played well in the defence and midfield, it was a good game because Gambia is a good side. They have huge defenders and that is what we expect against Guinea Bissau.
“The two international friendly games were eye-openers and we have remained with home work of working on our striking force,” he said.
Chiyangi said as much as the team was under pressure to deliver a win over their hosts, the technical bench will handle the situation well so that it does not affect the players.
“When you look at Zambia, it’s a household name and it won’t be good to miss out on the AFCON finals. We are under a lot of pressure but we are handling it, because if we fail to handle the pressure as a technical bench, the players will be affected and that can bring about problems,” he said.
He said a number of lessons have been picked from Gambia and Togo matches as the team faced the type of West African teams system of play which will help against Guinea Bissau.
Chiyangi added that the team had challenges in their travel to Gambia and that players were fatigued during the game.
“We had a few challenges with our travel, so the players were tired during the game. We never trained for two days and only had some light training this morning (yesterday) and a few key players did not play,” Chiyangi said.
Meanwhile, the Chipolopolo jetted into Guinea yesterday morning from Gambia where they were frustrated to a draw.
Coach George Lwandamina, who missed the tie, was supposed to link with the squad yesterday.
Kennedy Mweene, Chisamba Lungu, Adrian Chama, Davies Nkausu, Evans Kangwa, Winston Kalengo, Christopher Katongo, Stopilla Sunzu, Paul Katema, Stephen Kabamba and Salulani Phiri started for the Chipolopolo.
Captain Rainford Kalaba missed both friendly games as he recovers from a thigh injury while Collins Mbesuma sustained a knock in the Togo tie.
Lubambo Musonda also sustained bruises on his ankle during the Togo game but managed to play the last 25 minutes of the game when he went in for Chisamba.
Zambia Sports Fans Association (ZSFA) strongman Peter Makembo has assured the team of maximum support as he has already done the ground work in Guinea Bissau.
Makembo said the team should focus on winning the match to keep alive hopes of qualifying for the AFCON finals.
He said fans were confident that Zambia will carry the day in the match to be beamed live by SuperSport on Saturday starting at 18:00 hours.

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