Herve Renard puts on a brave face after Zambia’s embarrassing exit from the 2013 Africa Cup on January 29 at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit earned them the tag of outgoing champions.
A 0-0 draw against Burkina Faso on Tuesday night was enough to boot the 2012 champions out of this year’s Africa Cup and end a 20-year record previously held by Algeria who exited the 1992 tournament with one point at the preliminary round.
“We had three draws and it was not enough to qualify. It is our fault,” Renard said.
Renard lamented that their biggest mistake was failing to beat a 10-man Ethiopia who outplayed them and rally to force a 1-1 draw in their opening Group c match on January 21.
“We have gone nine games at the Africa without losing which is a good record but it is not enough since we are not reaching the quarterfinals,” Renard said.
Meanwhile, Renard also justified his reasons for the historic benching of his faithful captain Christopher Katongo from the game after the player had come under heavy attack following his uninspiring display in Zambia’s last two Group C games.
“This football and in football there is competition,” Renard said.
“We don’t only have one striker in or squad. You need to be efficient.”
Zambia finished third in Group C on three points, two behind leaders Burkina Faso and Nigeria who advanced to the February 3 quarterfinals in first and second place.