Zambia captain Rainford Kalaba has admitted that Chipolopolo are currently not favourites among soccer fans following the recent success of their Under-20 counterparts.
Zambia hosts Mozambique on Saturday at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola in a 2019 AFCON Group K opening qualifying match with unofficial poll ratings at their lowest.
This is after the Zambia U20 teams’ 2017 U20 AFCON triumph on home soil in March and making their debut quarterfinal appearance at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup in South Korea this month.
It has also not helped that Kalaba and his team failed to qualify to the 2017 AFCON.
Kalaba, a 2012 Africa Cup winner, said they should not be discounted as a spent force but admitted the clock was ticking.
“This is our last chance because, you know, there is too much pressure in the country between the Under-20 and Zambia National team,” Kalaba said.
“So the only thing we can do for our country is to win on Saturday so that the fans can believe
in this team again. We were once champions and many soccer fans have forgotten so easily so we have to prove them wrong that this is the team. We have to react to the criticism to what is going on in the country.”