ZAMBIA’S Head Coach Herve Renard is a relieved man after guiding the Chipolopolo to next year’s Africa Nations Cup (CAN) in Angola. Saturday’s goalless draw against Amavubi meant that Zambia secured their 14th appearance at Africa’s premier football tournament.
In his post-match interview, Renard said that his primary target was to help Zambia qualify.
“Now that we are through, we have set our target to atleast reaching the second round,” Renard said, adding that the Chipolopolo need to take it step by step.
The Frenchman believes that reaching the second round will be a big stride by the Chipolopolo who have failed to get past the group stages in their last five attempts.
The last time Zambia made it past the group stage was in 1996 when they finished third in South Africa.
Renard also used the occasion to laud his team for holding onto a valuable point away from home.
“Amavubi pressed so hard but I’m happy with the way we dealt with the pressure. We kept it tight all the way,” he noted.
In particular, he praised Rainford Kalaba (midfielder), Christopher Katongo and Kampamba Chintu (defender) for standing up to Amavubi.
Saturday’s result means that Zambia finished third in the group with five points while Rwanda finished bottom with two points.
Meanwhile, Egypt and Algeria will return to the pitch on Wednesday to settle the last of Africa’s qualifying berths for the 2010 World Cup after a dramatic late goal gave the African champions a 2-0 win on Saturday.
Egypt 13 pts
Algeria 13 pts
Zambia 5 pts
Rwanda 2 pts