DIANA MUTAKAFIMBO, Ndola
GOALKEEPER Kennedy Mweene says the Chipolopolo need to work hard ahead of the 2015 Equatorial Guinea Africa Cup of Nations finals.
The team resumed training yesterday at Ndolaâ€™s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium after a dayâ€™s rest.
Zambia beat Mozambique 1-0 on Saturday to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup and will face Cape Verde tomorrow in the final qualifier.
Mweene said in Ndola yesterday that there are a lot of youngsters in the team who have never been to the Africa Cup.
He said it is important to make the youngsters understand the importance of the Africa Cup of Nations.
â€œWhen you look at the team it is by the grace of God that we qualified. It is always difficult when there are changes in the team. There are a lot of new players who have never been to the Africa Cup and we have a lot of work to do,â€ Mweene said.
And assistant coach Kampamba Chintu said the Chipolopolo will aim for an outright victory against Cape Verde.
â€œOf course we are stressing for a win because we still want to honour our late President. It is important that we win this match and we are preparing well for that,â€ the Africa Cup winner said.
Defender Kabaso Chongo, who did not make the outing to Maputo, is back in the team.
Meanwhile, Chipolopolo doctor Joseph Kabungo said the team is injury-free.
Kabungo said midfielder Lubambo Musonda sustained a bruise on his leg but the injury is nothing to worry about.
â€œThe rest of the players are okay. We pulled out Christopher Munthali from last Saturdayâ€™s game for precautionary measures because he complained of a headache. Otherwise all the players are okay,â€ he said.
Cape Verde are expected in Ndola today.
And Government says the national teamâ€™s qualification for the 2015 Equatorial Guinea Africa Cup of Nations is testimony of the Chipolopoloâ€™s patriotism, discipline and determination to bring glory to the country, STEPHEN PHIRI reports.
â€œThe qualification has put a smile on the faces of the Zambian people who have been grieving the loss of the late President Michael Chilufya Sata who died on 28th October, 2014 and was put to rest on 11th November, 2014. The victory over Mozambique at their own home ground last Saturday, is testimony of the teamâ€™s patriotism, discipline and determination to bring glory to the country,â€ Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Joseph Katema said.
In a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday, Katema said Government and Zambians at large are confident that the Chipolopolo possesses the right credentials in terms of experience, exposure and skill, to replicate the 2012 performance in which Zambia emerged champions of Africa.
He said Government is committed to working with all stakeholders in ensuring the team prepares thoroughly for tomorrowâ€™s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cape Verde in Ndola.
DIANA MUTAKAFIMBO, Ndola