Monday Jun 06, 2022. 11:00
Zambia and Comoros will be geared for a key clash in Group H of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations when they meet at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on the evening of Tuesday 7 June, kick-off at 18:00 CAT.
Zambia opened their campaign with a 3-1 loss away to next year’s AFCON hosts, Ivory Coast, in Yamoussoukro last Friday.
The defeat to the Elephants will have been disappointing for Chipolopolo, but given that the hosts have an automatic ticket to the finals regardless of results in Group H, it is the matches between Zambia, Comoros and Lesotho which will be key in determining which team secures the other qualification berth.
“Yes, we have respect, we have played against a great team, in fact the favourites in our group, but come on Zambians, believe in us, believe in Patson [Daka], believe in Enock [Mwepu], believe in Kelvin [Kampamba] and believe in the people who are trying to get us to the next Nations Cup,” said coach Aljosa Asanovic.
Comoros, who made their AFCON debut earlier this year with a fine showing in Cameroon, took a strong step toward returning to the tournament when they defeated Lesotho 2-0 in Moroni in Madagascar.
Youssouf Yacoub M’Changama and Benjaloud Youssouf scored for Les Coelacantes, as they seized the early initiative in the group.
“We qualified only once in our history for the Africa Cup and it was a feat for us,” said Comoros coach Younes Zerdouk.
“Zambia is a great team and has already won the Africa Cup in 2012. You know when you have done something great, you are always expected to do it again. It’s exactly the same for us, but doing it again is much harder.”
In head-to-head stats, Zambia and Comoros have met in two previous matches: both took place in the qualifiers for the 2012 AFCON and saw Chipolopolo win 4-0 at home in September 2010 and 2-1 away a year later.
The other Matchday 2 fixture in Group H will see Lesotho ‘host’ Ivory Coast in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday 9 June.