Chipolopolo coach Sven Vandenbroek says the 1-all draw against Namibia was a fair result given that Zambia had to rally from a goal down.
And Namibia coach Ricardo Manetti said the result had made it difficult for both teams’ chances of qualifying to the Cameroon 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Addressing a post-match press conference in Windhoek, Vandenbroek who made his debut as Chipolopolo coach in a Group K Africa Cup of Nations qualifier said he was happy with the reaction of his players after having equalised at the death.
“I think in the end the result is fair. In the first half we had some problems with the number 19 (Petrus Shitembi) just in the space behind our two midfielders we solved that at half time, I think in the second half we had better of the play, most of the ball possession and higher up the pitch. I think in the end the result is fair on a draw,” Vandenbroek said.
The Belgian born trainer also put into perspective his decision to leave Enock ‘Computer’ Mwepu on the bench until the 82nd minute.
“I did not use him (Mwepu) from the start because he travelled on Monday that is one small reason, he came on later than the other boys but also because of the artificial turf,” he said.
The coach said Zambian players did not prefer the artificial surface to the natural conditions which may have made their game a bit difficult.
“Zambians are not tall either, they are not a tall nation as well, I think on height there was not much difference unless you take our central defender Sunzu but the main reason is artificial and given keeping two holding midfielders to not leave space between our central defence and central midfield,” he said.
And Manetti said the 1-all draw was a bitter pill to swallow for his charges as they had taken the lead until added time.
“As for Namibia, it is a bitter pill to swallow to concede just after you have been looking for that go the whole time, it came, then the last two minutes you concede a goal to make a draw,” he said.
He said the draw had left both sides needing victory in their remaining assignments.
Zambia and Namibia settled for a 1-all draw leaving them sharing the bottom place with one point after two matches.
Guinea and Mozambique remain in first and second respectively after having played to a 2-all draw in Maputo.
Zambia’s next assignment is on October 10 when they host Guinea Bissau while Namibia travel to Maputo.
Second half substitute Justin Shonga cancelled out a Benson Shilongo 78th minute goal to ensure that the two sides shared spoils.