Chipolopolo caretaker coach Aggrey Chiyangi has thanked the fans that turned up at National Heroes Stadium to support the Chipolopolo despite the team already eliminated from qualification to the 2019 Egypt Africa Cup of Nations.
And Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti said Zambia was still a giant footballing nation despite missing out on qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
In a post-match press conference after Zambia hammered Namibia 4-1 to end their group matches on a high.
“Some people stayed at home and some came. For those that came, thank you very much for believing in us…they came to support their team. For those that stayed at home they had other views, even a child you have to support the child whether good or bad,” he said.
“For us as team we have been in football for a long time, sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, and that is why as a coach you have to be very strong because when you lose no one will be there for you. Again, it is you the coach who has to lift the morale of the players to play the next game.”
He said that after the qualification failure for the 2019 AFCON, Zambians needed to plan for future engagements.
“What is important for now is for the stakeholders to know what the future holds for Zambian football. We have missed two AFCONs in a roll, it is not a small thing for a country like Zambia, it is a big thing,” Chiyangi said.
“We need to plan very well. I admire Namibia because for so many years they had a project. When you have patience this is how things work.”
And Mannetti said Zambia had proved that they were still among the top African teams despite failure to qualify for the Africa Cup.
“Zambia has players galore, talent galore. For us it was just to make sure that we keep up with our big brothers and today they taught us a lesson that although they did not make it, please Zambia you are still a great football nation and you will forever be,” he said.
“Yes it was not your time this time around. It is sad to see a team that you have just beaten 4-1 qualify for AFCON.”
Zambia re-ignited itself with a brace from Augustine Mulenga and a goal each from Donashano Malama and Lazarous Kambole.
Namibia qualified alongside Guinea Bissau after edging out Mozambique on head-to-head record despite having finished on eight points apiece.
Mozambique held Guinea Bissau to a 2-all draw in the final match.