Zambia’s coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic says it will be a true stage for tactical roller-coaster when Chipolopolo face Morocco at the quarterfinal stage of the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN), Cameroon 2020 on Sunday.
Morocco, who are the defending champions did not only qualify after topping Group C but thumped Uganda 5-2 in the last group game. Zambia on the other hand, finished second in Group D.
What is identical to both teams, is that they all avoided defeat in their three group matches.
Micho, who once coached the Uganda Cranes, is aware of what his side is heading for but insists, that in case you want to win a tournament, you must be able to eliminate the best.
“We are playing against top class Moroccan players who are handled by very respectable coach. We need to be at our best because it will be a real tactical tactical roller-coaster and action thriller,” added Zambia’s tactician,” he told CAF media.
Although the Serbian is quite contented with the way his team is defending, he said they must also try to improve and become clinical in-front of goal.
“The biggest test for our iron defense is coming against an attacking Morocco team. But we are preparing well for them,” he said.
Zambia’s best performance in the competition came in 2009 when they finished third but have also reached the quarterfinals in 2016 and 2018. Thus, the onus is on Micho and his boys to move a step higher than the previous ones.
To achieve the goal however, the Chipolopolo have no other choice but to bring down the defending champions. A scenario in which Micho wants to believe, relying on his attacking trio Moses Phiri, Emanuel Chabula and Collins Sikombe to realize.
“The matches are getting harder for everyone. Morocco have a good team, but we have a group that can make them doubt. We are ready and have nothing to lose,” Micho confirmed.
“Against Uganda, the players have delivered their best game since the start of this CHAN, both in terms of result and performance,” Morocco coach Houcine Ammouta told CAF media after the 5-2 victory against the Cranes.
Chan all-time top scorer and Moroccan Skipper Ayoub El Kaabi, who scored record nine goals in 2018, took his tally of goals to ten after converting from the spot against Uganda. And like the striker, Ammouta said the whole team is getting better.
“We had three games to improve and gain confidence. It’s another tournament starting now, and we still have three games to win,” added Ammouta.
Morocco are yet to lose in their last 10 CHAN games, while Zambia have been beaten twice in their 16 CHAN matches.