Zambia captain Rainford Kalaba says it will not be easy to get three points in the remaining Group B games looking at the way football is played in Africa.
And Kalaba says some of his teammates were scared of the big stage in Zambia’s 2-1 defeat to Nigeria in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Sunday, but lessons have been learnt from the loss.
The Zambian defence gifted Nigeria two first half goals – Green Buffaloes’ Adrian Chama’s poor clearance of a long throw-in from Onyinye Ndidi inside the six yard area fell comfortably for Alex Iwobi who powered in the opener for the Super Eagles.
Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho doubled Nigeria’s advantage three minutes before half time.
Collins Mbesuma reduced the deficit in the second half, but Nigeria held firm to seal an important away win.
In an interview, Kalaba said the players had learnt a lesson and would make amends in the remaining group games.
“This was the biggest game for other players who have come into the national team. You saw how some players were scared in the first half. Then the second half they got more courage and you saw how the game changed in the second half. I think they have learnt a lesson,” Kalaba said.
“If we continue doing the same thing, we will be in trouble in the next games we are facing. So I think today we have learnt something, we will stay together and encourage each other so that we can move forward as a team.”
Coach Wedson Nyirenda said the team would come back stronger from the loss and asked for patience as the team was competing and rebuilding at the same time.
Following the first round of games, Nigeria lead Group B with three points after the other group game between Cameroon and Algeria ended in a one-all.