Zambia skipper Rainford Kalaba has confessed that some of the Zambian players were afraid of Nigeria superstars who play in the Premier League.
The captain said this ‘fear’ caused their 2-1 loss to the Super Eagles in their World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
The loss was the first time the Zambians lost in Ndola with Premier League stars Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho scoring for Nigeria in the first half.
The other Premier League stars in the squad were Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi and Leicester City’s Ahmed Musa.
“Playing against experienced players based in Europe, some of the guys were scared of playing against them because they always watch them every weekend in the Premier League and when they see them live, it is often difficult for them to concentrate on the game.
“In the first half some of the guys were a bit scared, but in the second half we all saw how things went and we controlled the game.
“There are even more stars in Algeria and Cameroon, so this must be a big lesson for us.”
“We respect Nigeria because they have some good players.
“They have some experienced players in the midfield and they were well organised.”
The exciting forward said the pressure would now be on Chipolopolo to get their qualifying campaign back on track.
“Losing our first game has brought more pressure on us, but we hope to improve,” he admitted.
“We are all very disappointed we lost at home because it was important to start (this competition) well.
“We still have time to work together with the coach so that we could rectify the mistake we have made.”