Hector Chilombo insists his Zambia Under-20 team are still in the race despite coming off second best to Mali on Monday at M’Bour.
Mali outshined Zambia to win 1-00 in the two sides opening Group B match at the 2015 African Youth Championships in Senegal on Monday night.
A superb 74th minute free kick by Alassane Diallo sent Zambia to a first day defeat at the tournament.
“We lost but we are not out. I’m happy for my boys, because they have shown that they can improve,” Chilombo said.
“We will remain focus and work harder in the next game. We have to recover and win our next game against Ghana. The tournament is on and we will fight on.”
However, Ghana lead Group B after shocking ten-man South Africa 2-0 in the early kick off at the same venue.
Zambia are third behind Mali on zero points ahead of their penultimate Group B match on March 12 against Ghana.