…as Congo Brazzaville coach resigns
By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
ONE job is done and now we are focusing on the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations. We have to make sure that the target of qualifying to the Olympics is achieved, says under-23 forwarder Patson Daka.
In an interview, Daka said maturity, courage and determination propelled the team to the Egypt Under-23 AfCON finals in November.
Zambia on Sunday sealed their berth to the tournament with a 5-4 aggregate score after the second leg ended 3-3 in Brazzaville. An Enock Mwepu brace and a goal from Daka was enough to draw the team closer to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“We are a team that never gives up, we are a team that believes that everything is possible. It’s not yet over until the referee blows the final whistle,”
“Earlier we spoke that it’s the last opportunity we have to meet as under-23 and if we want the Bola-Na-Lesa team to continue, we have to work extra hard to play in every tournament.
“One job is done, and now we are looking at the Afcon. And we will have to make sure that the target of qualifying at the Olympics is met,” he said.
The Red bull Salzburg forward described the second leg as an intensive match but applauded his teammates for rising to the occasion twice amidst a hostile environment.
He said the conditions in Brazzaville were not conducive which included playing on a bad pitch.
“I give credit to the entire team because they showed great character. Not easy playing away, the conditions and the pitch, but we remained calm and handled the pressure well. The way we responded after conceding the first goal showed a lot of maturity, courage and determination the team has,” he said.
Meanwhile, Congo coach Jean Ngoya resigned as Under-23 national team coach after failing to qualify the team to Egypt
Ngoya said it was pointless for him to continue coaching the team after he failed to meet the target.
The AfCON finals will be held from November 8-22.Top three teams at the AFCON will qualify to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.