The Zambia and Cape Verde Africa Nations Cup Group F Qualifier has been billed as a grudge match at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Wednesday.
Pride is at stake in this formality match in what will be the two sides’ second-ever international meeting. The match comes after both teams booked their respective places at January’s finals in Equatorial Guinea.
Second placed Zambia on 8 points qualify with a game to spare and cannot be surpassed by third placed Mozambique on five points thanks to the formers better head-to-head going into Wednesday’s final round of qualifying matches.
Zambia face runaway leaders Cape Verde, on 12 points, who are the only side to have beaten them in Group F after losing 2-1 away in Praia on match-day-two on September 10.
“It is not going to be an easy game – we know the fact that they beat us at their home ground and we also have to protect our pride at home so that we protect our unbeaten run here,” Zambia assistant coach Kampamba Chintu said.
Zambia are also chasing their third successive Group F win after recovering from a shaky start in the qualifiers that saw them pick up two points from their opening three matches whose major highlight was that loss away to Cape Verde.
However, Zambia will continue to be without captain and key defender Stopilla Sunzu of French club Sochaux, who will miss his second game in a row due to a hamstring problem.
Meanwhile, Cape Verde coach Rui Aguas heads to Zambia also seeking his first away win since the Blue Sharks beat Niger 3-1 away in their Group F opener on September 7 in Niamey.
The ex-Portugal striker who is on his first excursion coaching in Africa has otherwise enjoyed an impressive run of Group F results with four wins and a loss from five games in charge since appointment this past August.