Zambia U20 coach Chisi Mbewe says Friday’s junior international friendly loss to Nigeria is an eye-opener.
Junior Chipolopolo lost 4-2 away to Nigeria in Abuja on the first stop of their two-nation West African friendly tour en route to the 2023 U20 AFCON that Egypt will host from February 19 to March 11.
“It was a good game, good intensity, this is what we really wanted to have this type of international friendly,” Chisi said.
“I am happy with the effort from the boys I know we have lost but these are preparations, we just have to work on aspects of the game where we did not do well.”
Nigeria took a one-nil halftime lead through a Haliru Sarki 43rd minute goal.
Moses Mulenga equalized in the 59th minute but four minutes later but Nigeria was back in the lead through Olamilekan Adams.
Lasmond Phiri restored parity in the 66th minute.
But Nigeria hit back in the last quarter through Emmanuel Uchegbu and Samson Lawal in the 75th and 88th minutes respectively.
“These are not goals that they fought for but we just made a few mistakes that we need to work on,” Chisi said in a post0-match interview in Abuja on Friday night.
“Otherwise, it has given us a true picture of what to expect in Egypt.”
Zambia has now left Nigeria and heading to Dakar for their final friendly against Senegal on February 7.
Both Nigeria and Senegal are also 2023 U20 AFCON-bound.
Zambia is in Group C at the U20 AFCON where they will play Gambia, Tunisia and Benin in Alexandria.
It is Zambia’s first time back at the U20 AFCON since winning it as hosts in 2017.