Monday Nov 18, 2019. 08:00
Zambia and Zimbabwe will renew their fierce rivalry when they meet in a Group H 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Tuesday 19 November 2019, kick-off at 18:00 CAT.
Both teams come into the clash on the back of disappointing opening results in the pool. Zambia will be the most scarred, having been handed a 5-0 thrashing by reigning AFCON champions Algeria in Blida last Thursday, while Zimbabwe were certainly left frustrated by a goalless stalemate at home to Botswana in Harare the following day.
The results see Algeria at the top of the log on three points, Botswana and Zimbabwe are tied for second on one point, and Zambia are bottom of the pile and desperate to make up ground when their rivals and neighbours come calling on the final evening of this round of qualifying matches.
Zambia caretaker coach Aggrey Chiyangi had nowhere to hide after his side’s heavy defeat in North Africa:“We know that we have a lot of work to do, so what is important is to learn from the mistakes that we have made in this game, so those are things that should be done with our team, lessons have been learnt and we will work on them,” he explained.
“We told our players to push harder and to see if we equalize, you saw in the 10-15 minutes we did try to push them in their own half and the second goal that we conceded disturbed us a lot, but if we were organized to avoid the second goal it was going to be different.”
Zimbabwe’s Joey Antipas, meanwhile, is hopeful his team will have their shooting boots on for the match against Chipolopolo.
“It was a disappointing result at home and we should have won it. The guys did everything that they could do to try and win the game but unfortunately not,” Antipas explained.
‘‘They created numerous chances but we failed to score. We were lacking the cutting edge in attack, but overall l think we played well, had chances and dominated but it’s all about putting the ball behind the nets.”
He added, “All we need is to keep our heads up and try rectify for our game against Zambia on Tuesday. It’s a big disappointment, we should have won at home since it was an opening game of the qualifiers. A point is a point though we would have loved three.”
In head-to-head stats, Zambia and Zimbabwe have met in 50 previous international matches. Chipolopolo have claimed 19 wins compared to nine for the Warriors, while 22 games have been drawn.
The teams have been regular combatants in the COSAFA Cup in recent years, and their last clash was in the semifinals of that tournament earlier this year: they drew 0-0 in June at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban before Zambia triumphed 4-2 on penalties (en route to winning the competition).