Friday Nov 12, 2021. 10:00
Zambia and Mauritania will battle for pride when they meet in a CAF second round 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 15:00 CAT.
Chipolopolo’s World Cup hopes are all but over following two disappointing results against Equatorial Guinea in October and will need to win their final two Group B matches by a substantial scoreline to stand any chance, but even so they’d still need favours galore.
Tunisia lead the group on 10 points, three ahead of Equatorial Guinea and the North African nation have accumulated six points more than Zambia after four matches. On top of that, the Eagles of Carthage have a goal difference of +8 and only need a point away to Nzalang Nacional in Malabo on Saturday to punch their ticket into the next round.
For Zambia head coach, Beston Chambeshi, matches against already eliminated Mauritania and Tunisia this month remain important.
“This is a big week for us, everyone is working hard. We are focussed, we want to finish on a good note,” said Chambeshi. “Every game is important. This is a World Cup qualifier. We are building the team, it is an important game for us.”
Leicester City and Zambia forward, Patson Daka, echoed his national coach’s sentiments with the southern African nation eager to build a strong foundation for the future.
“It is going to be two very intense games, they won’t be easy and we don’t expect them to be easy,” said Daka.
“We have to take them seriously, we know we won’t make it to the World Cup, but we have to take this game seriously because it is the beginning of our next way forward so we have to make sure that it gives us the direction of where we want to go next.
“We know how important they are and it is also for the pride of the country. We have to give it our very best like we do every time,” Daka added.
Zambia will be without both Enock Mwepu and Edward Chilufya on Saturday due to injury.
Mwepu, who plays in the English Premier League for Brighton & Hove Albion, found the back of the net for Chipolopolo in a 2-1 win over Mauritania in Nouakchott. Prince Mumba was also on target for the visitors in the reverse fixture back in September while Mamadou Niass scored a consolation goal for the hosts.