Zesco United coach Tenant Chembo remains optimistic they will qualify to the 2018 CAF Champions League group stage despite Wednesday’s home setback.
Zesco’s group stage ambitions were handed a major dent on March 7 when they lost 1-0 to ASEC Mimosa of Cote d’Ivoire at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
And Wednesday’s loss also ended Zesco’s historic unbeaten home record in continental competition since making their Africa debut in 2006.
Chembo’s side must now conjure a 2-0 away win in Abidjan during the weekend of March 17 to redeem themselves.
However, Zesco have not won away in their last five continental games.
Zesco trace their last victory on the road to April 2016 when they beat Stade Malien 3-1 away in Bamako at the same stage to qualify 5-2 on aggregate to the league round of the same competition.
“Definitely when you play away it is always tough but looking at the margin of the result, and effort from the team, the team accounted themselves well,” Chembo said.
“There is still light at the end of the tunnel. We are still in it.”
Failure to qualify to the 2018 CAF Champions League group stage will see Zesco relegated to the last 32 of the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup in April where they will battle to qualify to the pool round of that competition.