CHANSA HOPEFUL OF ZAMBIA SEMIFINAL
L-r Leader of women Under-17 national female team (The Flamingoes), Addulrafiu Yusuf, Ogun State Commissioner for Sports, Gbenga Otenuga, Governor Ibikunle Amosun during the solidarity visit to the team ahead of its second leg match against Kenya in Abeokuta on Saturday
Orlando Pirates midfielder, Isaac Chansa, says Zambia has proved that it can reach the AFCON semifinals for the first time since 1996. 'We can realise out semifinal dreams,' said Chansa. Chipolopolo on Sunday evening booked its second successive Africa Cup quarterfinal place after beating tournament co-hosts, Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in Malabo to finish top of their pool. 'This time, it is our target that we want to go further and continue with our brilliant performance,' Chansa continued.
In 2010, Zambia qualified to the Africa Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 1996, when they finished third in South Africa. 'If we get to the final, it will be a plus for us and if we get there anything can happen,' the Orlando Pirates midfielder said.
Chansa lamented that this time the team was older and wiser with a mix of the old and new players blending in well after losing to Nigeria two years ago on post-match penalties in the quarterfinals in Angola. 'Two years ago, we went to the quarterfinals where we lost to Nigeria but we learnt a lesson from last time,' Chansa said.
'This time round we are with the same team, but more experience and yes we do have young players and brilliant players and they are doing fantastic for the team.' Zambia, who head back to Bata in midweek, will know who their quarterfinal opponents will be on Monday evening when Group B is decided.
Group B leaders, Cote d'Ivoire, who have six points, face second-placed Angola on four points in Malabo.
Meanwhile, third-placed Sudan takes on out-of-contention Burkina Faso in Bata in the other simultaneous kick-off.