Zambia coach Aggrey Chiyangi is cautious of eSwatini but has demanded the best possible first leg away result from his players in a Third Round clash of the South Zone of the qualifying series for the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Cameroon 2020.
The Chipolopolo visit eSwatini on Saturday in Manzini hoping to move one step closer towards qualification in their bid for a third successive appearance.
The Zambians are unbeaten in the race to Cameroon after defeating Botswana 3-2 at home in Lusaka last August to reach the last hurdle by the same aggregate score line.
eSwatini are seeking their debut appearance at the tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues after eliminating 2011 runners-up Angola 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 aggregate result to book their date with Zambia, bronze medalists at the maiden edition in 2009 in Cote d’Ivoire.
“The most important thing for us as we go there (Manzini), is to focus for a win,” Chiyangi said.
“But again we have to be cautious; we cannot just go there to play an open game because we know that every team has developed.
“Even eSwatini are playing very good football, so we have to be careful that we don’t lose there. We must make sure that our focus is to win there and then we can make things easier for ourselves at home.
“We are not going to say we want to come and win here, for us we want to go and finish the game in eSwatini so that the game here becomes easier.”
Chiyangi also cautioned his charges against underestimating the Sihlangu especially after they were eliminated from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 preliminary round qualifiers by Djibouti few weeks ago.
“It shows that when we go there, they are going to fight because they also want to make history and qualify to the tournament,” Chiyangi said.
“We really have to be cautious since it is going to be a very tough game.”
Meanwhile, Chiyangi has two injury doubts for the first leg.
Zanaco’s attacking pair of Roger Kola and Chitiya Mususu could miss the trip after sustaining injuries in Total CAF Confederation Cup action away in Mauritius last weekend in a 2-1 win over Bolton City YC in a second round, first leg fixture.
However, Chiyangi still has ample fire-power led by Emmanuel Chabula and Bruce Musakanya who both scored in the last round victory over Botswana.
Zanaco goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata, who was Chipolopolo’s first -choice at 2018 CHAN in Morocco, returns to the Zambia fold for the first time this year to try and reclaim his spot for his successor Sebastian Mwange of Green Eagles.