Chipolopolo coach Wedson Nyirenda says his team will not go to sleep after having beaten Uganda 3-1 in their opening Group B match at the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
And Uganda coach Sebastian Desabre said it was not easy for him to chalk up a victory after having taken over the Cranes job in the last 10 days.
During a post-match press conference, Nyirenda said the 3-1 win over Uganda was behind and would now focus on the next two matches.
“Winning today is just the first game, we cannot go to sleep and think we have already qualified. We have three points apiece with Namibia and the race is still open,” said Nyirenda.
“This is a marathon, which means we all have two games to go, therefore we can only think about being qualified after playing the third game.”
He added: “We are not going to relax, I believe the way Uganda is playing, and we should not be surprised to find them qualifying because we have seen the way they are playing. Any other team can qualify.”
The coach paid tribute to his players for having withstood the bombardment from the Cranes in the first half.
“The first half was all for Uganda, they controlled the game. They played very well, well organized and they kept the shape. We were nowhere to be seen,” he said.
“My team did not believe in themselves in the first 20 minutes. Uganda could have scored in the first 10 minutes. We showed some character we did not concede in the first 10 minutes,” he said.
Nyirenda also paid glowing tribute to Kambole who made his competitive debut in Chipolopolo colours.
“There is nothing that gives a coach a lot of pleasure than when you believe in a player and you give him a chance and he responds in such a way. I think this is a big plus even to the other players,” said Wada of Kambole.
“This is his debut, he scored us a beauty of a goal in a friendly against Orlando Pirates last week. The boy is building his confidence more and more. All we need as coaches is to believe in what we see. The young man has a lot to show to this world.”
Kambole was named Man of the Match after having scored a goal and provided an assist for the second goal to crown a dream debut.
Zambia took command of Group B with a 3-1 win that saw goals from Kambole, Augustine Mulenga and Fackson Kapumbu cancel out Derrick Nsibambi’s goal for Uganda.
Zambia will next face Ivory Coast on Thursday in the second group match before concluding their pool matches next Monday.
In the other Group B match Namibia stunned Ivory Coast whom they beat 1-0.