Zambia coach Avram Grant was left a dissapointed man after his side battled to snatch a 1-1 Africa Cup of Nations draw against Tanzania on Sunday.
A late Patson Daka header rescued a point for Chipolopolo after Taifa Stars had taken the lead in the first half through Simon Msuva’s 11th-minute strike assisted by Mbwana Samatta.
But Zambia’s task grew harder when captain Roderick Kabwe received a second yellow card just before the break to leave them a man down. Despite their numerical disadvantage, Chipolopolo fought back valiantly in San-Pedro as Daka went close after the restart.
And the Leicester striker finally made his mark by heading in the 88th-minute equaliser with an inch-perfect corner from Clatous Chama.
“It’s a disappointing result. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy match after watching Tanzania’s match against Morocco. It’s true that we started well too but we conceded a goal quickly and that changed our tactics especially after the red card,” he said.
On the sending off he said: “It’s difficult to play with ten players. But I’m happy with the boys’ reaction. They gave everything to come back.”
Grant further believes his team will show up and deliver against the Atlas Lions. “We already know that Morocco is a big team but we are not afraid of them. We will play them and I hope we will put up a good performance. We will have to show character.
“That’s what we try to do every day, get better. And on all levels. Since I have been coaching this team, we have progressed in several areas but we must continue. Even when you become champion, you have to continue to improve the team.”
The draw left Tanzania bottom of Group F ahead of their final game with DR Congo while Zambia stayed third. Zambia will likely require victory over Morocco on Tuesday to progress to the knockouts after this dramatic stalemate.