U20 football coach, Mbewe, harps on need to win opening game of World Cup qualifiers in Egypt


Chisi Mbewe, U20 coach says he expects a tough challenge from each of the Group C opponents.

Mbewe said the team was however, ready to kickstart their chase for a world cup place.

Speaking during a pre-match press conference at Alexandria Stadium, Mbewe said the teams is ready for Tuesday’s opening match against Benin.

He said according to Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) media statement on Monday that his team had benefitted from their early arrival in Egypt as part of acclimatization.

“The first game is very important; it is the game that will set the tone or path of where we want to go. So, the most important thing is we just need to work extra hard, we need to emphasize and encourage the players all the time, we need to remind them of the reason we are here,” he said.

Read more :Zambia names final U20 AFCON Egypt squad, midfielder Banda ruled out on injury

Mbewe stated that his team has set world cup qualification as the minimum benchmark.

“We know there are 12 teams, all the teams are fighting for one common goal which is to qualify for the World Cup and win the AFCON which is not going to be easy. The most important thing is we have to stay focused and be able to fight and achieve our goals in this tournament,” he said.

And captain Dominic Kanda said the first game was important and will be tackled seriously.

Kanda told the media during the briefing that the team was focused on beating Benin before thinking about subsequent fixtures.

“Our expectation is qualifying for the world cup and then challenge for the cup,” he said.

Kanda said the mood in the camp was high as everyone was doing fine and only looking forward to tomorrow’s game.

Kanda added: “The first match is always important; we just need to take it seriously because we must get the three points. It is very important to us as players.”

Zambia is in Group C alongside Benin, The Gambia and Tunisia.

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