Zimbabwe boss full of respect for Zambia ahead of this evening’s clash
Zimbabwe National Team coach Joseph Antipas says he has a lot of respect for the Chipolopolo Boys ahead of their qualifier this evening in Lusaka.
Zimbabwe are coming from drawing 0-0 against Botswana in their first match of the qualifying series back at home and will be looking to pick up their campaign with an away win Lusaka.
Antipas said his team expects a good game against Zambia after the Chipolopolo suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat against Algeria which he described as unfortunate.
The Warriors coach said the Zambian team has quality in the squad and warned his team against underrating the hosts this evening further stressing it will be an easy encounter against their COSAFA nemesis.
“We are expecting fireworks from the Zambians and we have to be up for it. It counts for nothing (Zambia’s 5-0 loss to Algeria) especially when Zambia are playing Zimbabwe. That was just an unfortunate result for the Zambian team,” Antipas told the ZamFoot Crew.
“We respect the Zambian national team; we respect the quality that they have and we know it’s not going to be easy. There is no way that it’s going be a walk in the park,” said Antipas.
Antipas was quick to mention that his side is not in Zambia to fulfill the fixture but were in the country to compete for the points which will take them to four points.
“Whenever Zambia and Zimbabwe play, it’s always closely contested so what we know is that we have come here for a battle. It has got the ingredients of a thriller. We are also coming from 0-0 at home, we are also licking some wounds because we should have won that game to be honest but unfortunately, we did not.”
The Zimbabwean trainer said he fells they lost valuable points in the first match when they draw 0-0 against Botswana last Friday and this is one match which they can put their qualification journey back on track.
“We are hoping to come up with a positive performance which will bring us a positive result.”
Antipas came to the defense of Belgium based striker Knowledge Musona in the first 11 after heavy criticism on the technical team by the local fans.
“He could not be playing regularly for the first team at RSC Anderlecht but he is training regularly and he is playing games regularly for the reserve side,” Antipas said of Musona, “Although he has been criticized, even us as coaches have been criticized for starting him because of lack of game time, but we know that he can deliver and he retains the captaincy of the team. It’s just a matter of time before he delivers for us,” he concluded.
Zimbabwe will this evening face Zambia at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka at 18:00Hrs.
Botswana lost 1-nil at home against Algeria. The Desert Foxes are top of Group H on six points while Zimbabwe and Bostwana have one point each as Zambia are bottom of the Group without a point.
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