World Cup Qualifier: Zambia Captain Blames Loss To Nigeria On Fear
Captain of Zambia’a Chipolopolo Rainford Kalaba has blamed his side’s 2-1 defeat to Nigeria on fear.
Zambia lost to the Super Eagles on Sunday in their opening Group B African qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
And the southern African country had never lost at the Levy Mwanawasa stadium since its opening in 2012.
The defeat to the three-time African champions now leaves them at the bottom of the group.
And the Zambian captain believes some of his colleagues were scared of the Nigerian stars, which caused them the game.
“Some of the guys were scared of playing against them [Nigeria] because they always watch them every weekend in the Premier League and when they see them live, it is often difficult for them to concentrate on the game.
“In the first half some of the guys were a bit scared. But in the second half we all saw how things went and we controlled the game.
“There are even more stars in Algeria and Cameroon, so this must be a big lesson for us.”
He added, “We respect Nigeria because they have some good players.
“They have some experienced players in the midfield and they were well organised.”
Kalaba, who admitted that pressure is now on them, hopes they can improve in subsequent games.
“Losing our first game has brought more pressure on us. But we hope to improve,” he said.
“We are all very disappointed we lost at home because it was important to start [this competition] well.
“We still have time to work together with the coach so that we could rectify the mistake we have made.”