Wedson Nyirenda says Zambia could be AFCON champion again soon despite losing away to Nigeria in Saturday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B qualifiers, because “the boys played the best football ever”.

Zambia took the game to Nigeria but lost 1-0 away in Uyo to end their 2018 FIFA World Cup-Group B qualifying hopes and handed the Super Eagles the ticket to Moscow.

“We played a great game today and I must say it was the best game we have played in the qualifying series,” Nyirenda said.

Chipolopolo even had the ball in the back of the net in the 22nd minute through midfielder Augustine Mulenga but it was ruled out for an offside while Alex Ngonga missed two great chances in the same period.

Alex Iwobi them punished wasteful Zambia with a 73rd minute strike to dash Chipolopolo’s hopes.

The loss ended Nyirenda’s seven-match unbeaten run in which Zambia has picked up five wins and two draws with the major highlight seeing Chipolopolo beat Algeria 3-1 at home and 1-0 away in their Group B doubleheader qualifiers in September.

“Our objective has been to rebuild the team and as you can see within a short period of time we have a nucleus of the team in place,” Nyirenda said.

“We have a team that we can be proud of and of very determined players, much disciplined young men, very hard working players. I think within the coming one year we will be champions of Africa.”

Zambia’s next assignment will be during the week of November 7 when they hosts Cameroon in a Group B dead rubber.