Zambia U23 coach Beston Chambeshi concedes they didnt show character in Tuesdays 3-1 loss to Nigeria in their penultimate Group B match at the 2019 U23 AFCON in Egypt.
Nigeria roared from one-down to equalize in the opening quarter of the first half at Salam Stadium in Cairo on November 12.
“We have accepted the defeat, we did not play well. The boys were not at their best, we played much of the long balls which is not our type of play,” Chambeshi said.
A cool finish from Paston Daka put Zambia ahead in the 12th minute barely hours after landing from his base in Austria to join the cause at the 2019 U23 AFCON Egypt is hosting from November 8-22.
But Nigeria leveled four minutes later when Orji Okonkwo turned in the ball from an Ibrahim Sunusi corner.
Zambia goalkeeper Mangani Banda then could only watch as Kelechi Nwakali put Nigeria ahead in with a seemingly tame free kick in the 65th minutes .
Mangani was the villain yet again when Taiwo Awoniyi punished him for an ambitious surge outside his box giving him no time to recover.
“We conceded from set-pieces, we did a lot of work on set pieces, I know Nigerians are tall.It was a good game, it was tough because both teams needed points from this game. At the end of the day,” Chambeshi said.
“We did not play our type of football, there was no attacking football.
” We tried our level best in the first 15 minutes we tried our best to break the Nigeria defence. We are not happy because we wanted this result very much. ”
Zambia are bottom of Group B on 1 point from two matches , two points behind Cote d’Ivoire whom they face in their final pool game on November 15.
South Africa, who beat Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 in the early kickoff on Tuesday, face Nigeria, who have 3 points, in their final Group B match in a simultaneous kick off on the same date.
“The table is still open, if saw the game we played against South Africa and today, we will come back in the last game, I know the boys are hungry. It will be a good game against Ivory Coast, Chambeshi concluded.
The top two sides in the eight team, two group tournament advance to the semifinals to ultimately decide Africa’s top three representatives at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Ghana and Cameroon are battling in Group A to join hosts Egypt in the semifinals while Mali are out after two defeats.