There were mixed fortunes for the COSAFA sides in action at the 2021 African Nations Championship on Tuesday night, with Zambia off to a flying start and Namibia pegged back in their opening encounter.
Zambia claimed an impressive win over Tanzania in their first Group D clash as captain Collins Sikombe converted a penalty on 63 minutes and Emmanuel Chabula added a second in Limbe.
Chabula should have added a third afterwards but wasted a superb chance with the goal at his mercy.
Despite the impressive start to the campaign, Zambia coach Micho Sredojevic says the team cannot get ahead of themselves.
“No team wins the trophy after just winning the first game in the tournament,” he said. “We have played against a good team that put us under a lot of pressure especially in the first half. Winning the opening match is a good step, but we are still far from playing our best.”
Zambia are next in action against Guinea on Saturday.
That is likely to be a tough encounter of the Guineans thumped Namibia 3-0 in the pool’s other game on Tuesday.
Yakhouba Barry and Morlaye Sylla netted the goals for the west Africans, who were too strong for the COSAFA side on the night.
We take lessons from this defeat to Guinea,” Namibia coach Bobby Samaria said. “We conceded two goals because of some silly mistakes. There are no excuses here, but we lost to a well-prepared team of Guinea.
“We now need to go back to the drawing board to plan for our next game against Tanzania.”
The third COSAFA side at the finals are Zimbabwe, who narrowly lost to hosts Cameroon in their opener and are back in action on Wednesday needing victory against Burkina Faso.