The two sides will lock horns during the week of 22-24 May in an encounter which seven winners will be joined by Senegal hosts of the final tournament that will identify three candidates to represent Africa at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Olympic Games.
Botswana limped through to the current stage thanks to an away goal they netted in Nairobi against Kenya who walloped them 4-1 .The Tswanas won first leg tie 3-0 at home in Gaborone.
The initially held the Nigerians to a goalless draw in Abuja but they messed things up for themselves in the return encounter at home when they allowed the visitors to clobber them 2-1 in Lusaka.
The Junior Chipolopolo side has now vowed to make up for the All Africa Games failure by striving to get an away victory at all cost. Through this they will avoid the Nigeria debacle repeating itself in an encounter against the Junior Zebras in Gaborone this time around.
As such they (Zambians) are giving the fourth coming encounter all seriousness it deserves, by leaving no stone unturned, vowing, to fire from all cylinders when they come face to face with the Tswanas.
“Like Nigeria, we don’t know much about them [Botswana].We don’t know how they are playing but we will do our home work. We want to get a win away this time,” declared Simukonda.
Despite bellicose talk on the part of the Junior Chipolopolo, they are taking some cognizance to the fact that the Zebras will not be an easy meat to roast, taking into account observations made by Zambian FA president Kalusha Bwalya.
“It will be tough, Botswana beat Kenya in Gaborone [3-0].That [alone] shows it’s a strong team which should not be underrated,” observed Bwalya.
Simukonda shares sentiments of his FA president by declaring that in the game of soccer of Africa today there are no longer minnows or whipping boys that can just be easily whisked away by the sheer wave of the hand.
“There are no small teams in football [today].All teams are the same, so we will not take them [Botswana] lightly,” declared Simukonda.
However, Bwalya believes that Simukonda has enough arsenals in his repertoire that he can get the all important result-qualify for Rio Games.
“But I know Fighton [Simukonda] has a strong team that will do the country proud,” said Bwalya.
Zambia last qualified for the Olympic Games in football category in 1988 Seoul South Korea where they had a trailblazing run by reaching the quarter finals.
They walloped Italy and Guatemala 4-0 and drew with Iraq 2-2 before bowing out of the competition in the quarter finals to West Germany by a 4-0 thumping.
He expressed the hope that both the technical bench and the team players will realise the importance of the two legged games against Botswana and that they will have their sights set firmly on Senegal play-offs that will determine candidates for Rio de Janeiro.
“I believe the technical bench and the players know the importance of the game. Now that we know our opponents, the team should focus on qualifying for the Olympic play-off in Senegal,” declared Bwalya.