Zambia Under-23 coach Beston Chambeshi is afraid of playing against Nigeria’s Under-23 team, despite Olympic Eagles first game loss to the junior Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.
Zambia and Nigeria are billed to lock horns together on Tuesday in their second match of the competition.
But the arrival of some top players into Nigeria camp, has already sent jitters down the spines of the Zambia coach, as he raised unnecessary alarm before the match.
“Nigeria are like a wounded lion, it will not be an easy match. They will give everything for the victory but we are prepared to face them,” he said.
Yet to recover from the opening shock 0-1 deficit against Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria will desperately look to revive their qualification hopes in the ongoing U-23 Africa Cup of Nations at Al Salam stadium in Cairo on Tuesday.
Zambia defender, Prosper Chiluya, also warned his team not to rest on their oars against Nigeria.
“Facing Nigeria won’t be a walk in the park. They need a win, the same applies for us. The coach will put the suitable strategy, and we are ready to deliver,” he said.
The Olympic Eagles who were the first ever African team to achieve glory in the history of the Olympics with gold medals in Atlanta 1996 are facing the danger of an early exit if they suffered another setback against Zambia who are themselves eyeing a place in the quadrennial event for the first time since 1988.
But coach Imama Amapakabo, is still hopeful that his boys would prove their worth against Zambia on Tuesday.
“All teams are equal in this tournament. We know what we have to do after losing the first match. Two games remain to be won to keep in the competition. We lost nothing yet,”he said.
Zambia only managed a goalless draw in their opener against neighbors South Africa. Beston Chambeshi comrades couldn’t find a way to the goal in a game of scarce chances. A win over holders Nigeria will give them a huge boast before taking on Cote d’Ivoire in the final group game next Friday.
Nigeria forward, Ibrahim Sunusi, promised to brace up towards winning the two remaining matches in group.
“We are going to prepare ourselves well for Zambia. In the field, we will give everything and the rest belongs to God,” he said.