Daka sets sights on U23 AFCON

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Under-23 forward Patson Daka says the team should focus on the Egypt 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in November before they can begin dreaming about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In an interview in Brazzaville after Zambia drew 3-3 with Congo to qualify 5-4 on aggregate, Daka said the team has a good chance of making the trip to Tokyo if they stayed focussed.

“Now we are looking forward to the Africa Cup, we know that we have to take every step, we cannot be thinking about Tokyo right now, we have another hurdle which we have to jump,” said the 2017 CAF Young Player of the Year.

“Right now our focus is on AFCON and we have to make sure that the target will be to qualify to the Tokyo Olympics then we can say the target is to get the trophy.”

The Red bull Salzburg forward hailed the fans that have rallied behind the BolaNalesa boys throughout the qualification process.

“I give credit to the fans, they are always behind us, no matter what happens they believe in us, even when we are down they push us, and they always give us a reason to push hard,” he said.

“Even when we are playing away from home, we always know that there are people who are supporting us, they may not be there with us but in spirit they are there with us.”

He added: “We will always do our best not to disappoint them, we know that it is a game which can go either way but we will always do our best to make sure that we can put smiles on their faces because they deserve it.”

And coach Beston Chambeshi says he wants to make history with his players as they prepare for the Egypt 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Speaking after his side qualified to the 2019 Egypt Africa Cup of Nations with a 5-4 aggregate victory over Congo Brazzaville, Chambeshi paid tribute to his players for having fought hard for the victory.

“Football is about making history, you cannot run away from that. As a coach and players we have to look at that, you have to look at the legacy. I am happy with the boys that they have taken me to another level but also I have built them to believe in themselves,” said an elated Chambeshi.

He also thanked the public and the Football Association of Zambia for the support given to his team throughout the qualifiers.

“First I want to thank my technical stuff for the job well done. I also want to thank our mother body FAZ for the support that they gave us. We cannot run away from our Republican President, he gave us maximum support when we played at home that is where we got our motivation from,” he said.

The 2017 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations winning coach singled out two-goal hero Enock Mwepu for standout performance.

“I think Mwepu came in strong and he had to take the game in his own way which is good for the team. If you have a player like that then you can have faith in team,” he said.

“The team played very well and that environment we were in but as I said to the Zambian people that we will give you a smile at the end of the day we have done it.”

Zambia played out to an enthralling 3-3 draw at the Alphonse Massamba-Debat Stadium to win 5-4 on aggregate and qualify to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which will be held in November.

A brace from Enock Mwepu and a Patson Daka goal sealed Zambia’s qualification to the AFCON.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31