Chipolopolo Zambia captain and midfielder Enock Mwepu says it is a huge relief to bounce back with a home win on Tuesday in their second game of the 2023 AFCON Group H qualifiers.
Zambia beat Comoros 2-1 on June 7 at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka to redeem themselves after starting the qualifiers four days earlier with a 3-1 away loss to Cote d’Ivoire in Yamoussoukro.
“It is a very big relief for us. We prepared adequately for this game and obviously it is always difficult when you are coming from a defeat and also being a home game,” Mwepu said.
“But I think with the players we are trying to become, it is a young group, you can see that the talent is there, the skills are also there- everyone can see that.
“We created a lot of chances but will continue to work on our finishing and that will give us more opportunities to win games.”
But Chipolopolo had to rally from one-down after El-Fardou Ben Mohamed put Comoros ahead in the 13th minute after he punished goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata and defender Tandi Mwape for a poorly executed back-pass.
Mwepu equalised on the stroke of halftime after Fashion Sakala saw one of his shots hit the post and the other kept out by Comoros goalkeeper Ahamda Ali Nadhoim.
Sixtieth minute substitute Kings Kangwa lifted the Heroes Stadium roof when the midfielder superbly converted free kick in the 88th minute.
Chipolopolo exchange places with Comoros in second and third place respectively, tied on 3 points after two games played.
Leaders Cote d’Ivoire are in action on Thursday in Johannesburg when they visit bottom of the table Lesotho who lost 2-0 in their opening game to Comoros on June 3 away on Moroni.
“It was a really tough game, very tricky, I think Comoros was strong as well but obviously a win is very, very important for us and that was our aim on Tuesday,” Mwepu said.
“It is good that we picked up the 3 points and now we look forward to facing Lesotho.”
Zambia will face Lesotho in a doubleheader on September 19 at home and away on September 27.