Football Blog - Independent Football Writing
Football Blog
Home » Zambia

Can Renard shoot the Copper Bullets into the quarter finals?

20 January 2010 by

Zambia coach Herve Renard is confident of a victory over Gabon that would put his side into the African Nations Cup quarter-finals.

The two sides meet in Benguela with plenty still to play for heading into the final matches of Group D, which is currently led by the Panthers on four points from two games.

The Zambians are bottom of the table with a single point, but the rules of the competition – head-to-head is preferred over goal difference – means that a win will see them advance at the expense of their opponents.

Renard knows exactly how the system works and speaking ahead of the game, he said: “It is a must-win game so I will use players who will make Zambia qualify for the quarter-finals.

“I want to take Zambia to the quarter-finals because it has been long since Zambia played in the quarter-finals.”

His comments come on the back of a shattering 3-2 loss to the Indomitable Lions, who they were beating 1-0 with 22 minutes to play when goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene spilt an attempted cross from Geremi that crawled over the line.

That moment turned the game on it’s head and Renard added: “Those things happen sometimes. All is not lost, we have the last match against Gabon and we know that if we beat them, we can still qualify.”

His opposite number Alain Giresse will not be too displeased with the way the tournament has gone for them thus far.

After beating Cameroon 1-0 in their opening match and following that up with a goalless draw against Tunisia, Gabon are just a point away from the next stage.

The last and only other time they managed to reach the last eight was at the 1996 finals in South Africa.

Speaking after the draw with the 2004 champions, Giresse said: “The boys did their best and deserve a lot of commendation.

“Don’t forget that Tunisia is a big team and beating them could not have been easy.

“A lot of teams would not mind four points from two matches, so I am not complaining.”

The Frenchman has one major injury concern, which is over the fitness of key midfielder Cedric Moubamba, who has a thigh problem and will undergo a late test to determine his availability.

Renard hopes to push his side through to the next stage

Renard hopes to push his side through to the next stage

(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)

Leave your response!

Please let us know what you think of this article and comment below, try and keep it clean and stay on topic.