Zambia feeling the pressure

Former champions Zambia must defeat Cape Verde Islands on Monday to keep alive their hopes of reaching the 2015 CAF Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals in Equatorial Guinea.

Coach Honour Janza admits the 2012 winners are "under pressure". A win for the Zambians in the remote north-eastern town of Ebebiyin would secure second spot in Group B provided Tunisia win or draw against Congo DR in Bata.

But a victory for the Congolese Leopards would condemn the Chipolopolo to a second consecutive first-round exit since rocking Côte d'Ivoire in a penalty shoot-out to lift the trophy. Tunisia have four points, Cape Verde Islands and Congo DR two each and Zambia one going into the final mini-league fixtures. Amid numerous scenarios is the prospect of drawing lots to separate Cape Verde Islands and Congo DR should they draw their matches by the same score.

Lots have been used just once before in the biennial African football showcase with Algeria reaching the 1988 knockout stage at the expense of the Ivory Coast.

"We are under pressure," admitted Zambia coach Honour Janza, "but so are the other three teams. The fact that all four teams can go through to the knockout stage has set up a very interesting and tense climax."

Zambia and Cape Verde Islands clashed in the 2015 Cup of Nations qualifiers with both teams winning at home. A Ryan Mendes goal gave the Blue Sharks a 2-1 win last September and Zambia won 1-0 two months later via a Ronald Kampamba strike.

"Cape Verde are a strong side and it will be a difficult fixture given that we met twice within the last four months," conceded Janza. "We know their style of play well and they know ours equally well."

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