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‘We’ve no excuses’

…We shall be back. says Chipolopolo players after losing to Niger 

…We shall be back. says Chipolopolo players after losing to Niger 

By MICHAEL MIYOBA

ZAMBIA national soccer team players say there are no excuses to their wretched performance which led to the disappointing 2-1 defeat to Niger in a Group E 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier played on Tuesday night in Marrakech Morocco.

Reacting to the loss which crushed Zambia’s hopes of maintaining top spot in Group E after starting the qualifiers with an impressive 4-2 win over Congo Brazzaville on November 17, midfielder Emmanuel Banda said the loss to Niger was a bitter pill to swallow for the Chipolopolo boys.

The defeat was Zambia’s first competitive loss under Avram Grant who qualified the Chipolopolo boys to the AFCON finals slated for next year in Ivory Coast after missing the last three editions.

“We have been on a good run lately and maybe just maybe that got to us a bit. We shall not utter any excuses for our defeat yesterday but we shall build from it and improve as we head into Afcon,” Banda said. 

“We have a team capable of wonders. We believe and we hope you will believe too. Yesterday was a wake-up call and we shall only get better. To a better Zambia… We shall serve,” the former Under-20 AFCON winner said.

And midfielder Klings Kangwa apologised to fans for the disappointing defeat to Niger. 

“We let you down in our previous game and we are going to rectify that on the pitch. Let’s put this setback behind us as we focus on the upcoming AFCON. The World Cup journey is very long and we shall fight to the end,” said the former Buildcon Star who now features for Red Star Belgrade in Europe.

Kangwa pleaded with fans to continue rallying behind the Chipolopolo boys even in difficulty times.

Meanwhile goal keeper Lawrence Mulenga who was ingoal said the Chipolopolo boys will be back after the setback in Morocco.

“It was a night that wasn’t ours, disappointed with the result but we will take it as an eye opener to improve and make sure we can make the nation proud again which is our responsibility,” Mulenga said.

After the loss to Niger, the Chipolopolo boys who remained on three points surrendered the top spot in Group E to Morocco who beat Tanzania 2-0 in Dar es Salaam to move to three points with a healthier goal difference.

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