The Chipolopolo failed to realise their dream of qualifying for World Cup due to the Super Eagles defeat and the forward has shouldered the blames
Fashion Sakala is disappointed as Zambia will not be represented at the Russia 2018 World Cup after they succumbed to a 1-0 loss at the hands of Nigeria in Uyo.
An Alex Iwobi 73rd minute strike was all the Super Eagles needed to dump Wedson Nyirenda’s side out of contention for a place in Russia next year.
And the Spartak Moscow attacker shoulders responsibility for the Chipolopolo’s inability to qualify for the showpiece, admitting he ‘let the nation down’.
“I really feel bad and I know that I’ve disappointed and let the nation down again but it’s a game I hope they will understand,” Sakala told Goal.
“Zambians expected us to win the match to go the World Cup for the first and the whole nation was waiting for the victory.
“We are out of the qualifiers and we thank God for helping us to come this far. We will try to work extra hard as a team to qualify to the Africa Cup of Nations,” he assured.
On Nigeria’s qualification for the mundial the sixth time, Salaka hopes they turn out good representative of the continent.
“Yea, I respect them [Nigeria] and they deserve it because they worked hard to qualify, so we put them into God’s hand to prepare well and make us proud as Africa’s representative,” he concluded.
…Why we struggled against Zambia – Ogbade
Former Nigeria international Nduka Ugbade said Zambia’s back-to-back wins against Algeria inspired them against the Super Eagles in Saturday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo.
Alex Iwobi’s 73rd minute goal secured a 1-0 win and a sixth FIFA World Cup appearance for Nigeria.
Prior to Iwobi’s goal, the Eagles found it difficult to break down a resolute Zambian side who were unfortunate to see a first half goal ruled out for offside.
Reflecting on the game, Ugbade who was in action when the Eagles beat Zambia 2-1 in the final of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, admits that he expected a difficult game for the Eagles.
“I had always known that the match would not be easy like everybody thought,” Ugbade told completesportsnigeria.com.
“For so many years, we have known Zambia as a very big footballing nation.
“They were motivated because they believed that with a win against Nigeria, there is the possibility of qualifying for the World Cup. And having beaten Algeria both home and away, they were clearly motivated.
“The Zambians played a lot better and they were very strong, but the Nigerian team was tactically strong and somehow organised.
“One thing that must be noted is that Zambia are from the high altitude so they don’t get tired easily.
“At a point in the game we got a bit tired and and gave the ball away easily. But the changes Gernot Rohr made was very good which resulted into the goal.”