Chipolopolo forward Patson Daka has described the Zambia National Team’s 1-1 draw with DR Congo as a great game defensively.
Daka was however quick to mention that the team did not do well going forward as they barely created any chances.
The Leicester City striker said the game was very tough and that’s what the team expected especially that it was the opening match of the tournament.
“Found the game very tough. I think it was not a surprise, we expected it to be that way because it was the first game of the competition and we were playing against a good opponent. I think we did our best to make sure we came out with something in that game,” Daka said.
“When we scored it was a great moment considering that we did not have a lot of chances in the game. We scored early and we knew it was a huge mountain to climb, we had to dig deep, work extra hard. We had a long way to go.”
“If i’m being honest it was a great performance defensive wise but it was below average going forward. We did not create many chances if any for us to get maximum points from that game. So I would say a point for us was good and we can only build on that going forward,” he added.
Daka is already looking ahead as he shifts focus to Sunday’s match against Tanzania which he says the team will do everything possible to collect maximum points.
Daka is aware of the tough task ahead and says the team will have to fight for the maximum points as it won’t be an easy walk in the park.
“It’s to be positive always, we don’t dwell in the past. That game is gone, we have to focus on the games ahead. We can not change that result, we can only take lessons from it. There is a positive side, at least we got something from it. The only thing we can do now is do everything possible to get maximum points in the next game. We just have to stay positive. This is only the start of the competition, we don’t need to lose our heads, we need to stick together and continue working as a team,” Daka said.
“It won’t be an easy game, there is a lot at stake. We want maximum points and they also want maximum points. It’s just the start of the competition like I said earlier and if you check a lot of teams lose their first game, like Argentina who then went on to win the World Cup. Even if Tanzania lost the first game it does not mean it will be an easy walk in the park for us, no. We need to dig deep, work extra hard and do everything we can to get maximum points. They are also thinking the same as us, we don’t have to go into the game with the mindset that they lost the game and it will be an easy game for us, no . We don’t want to get surprised, we just have to be ready for it and it will be a fight. We just have to continue working together as a team.”
“It’s too early to have favourites in the group, we just need to look at each and every game that comes,” he added.
Daka was making his debut in the continental showpiece in Wednesday’s draw and said it was a mixed emotions feeling for him.
Daka says the team understands the fans’ frustrations and promises that the team will do their best on Sunday.
“It was mixed emotions for me, it was a moment I would have wished to get maximum points but it’s good I have come to play at this big stage, I have waited for so long. I just hope and believe that it will be a good memory not just for me but the team as well. Hopefully I am going to do my very best to contribute to the team’s success,” he said.
“We understand their frustrations and share their sentiments. It’s not the game we wanted. So we will do our very best in the next game. Weare always going into the game with the mindset of winning and not drawing or losing. We will give our very best in the remaining games and we always appreciate their support. We hope they will continue to support us and we will try by all means to give them what they deserve.”
“I think so far so good. Like you have said it’s very humid here but it’s not an excuse, we just have to adapt because it’s not like we are the only team playing in these conditions but everyone else,” he added.
A Kings Kangwa goal was cancelled by a Yoane Wissa strike for the two teams to share spoils at the Laurent Pokou Stadium on Wednesday.
Zambia plays Tanzania on Sunday in their next Group F match at 19h00 Central African Time.