We will go to Uganda and we will do it - Renard
African champions Zambia begun the defense of their Africa Cup of Nations title with a narrow 1-0 win over Uganda. Skipper Chris Katongo claimed the decisive goal early on 17th minute but despite their dominance and numerous chances, the Chipolopolo failed to extend their advantage leaving the tie delicately poised for the second and final leg in about a month's time.
African champion coach Herve Renard spoke to Cafonline.com after the match and revealed his dissatisfaction with the result but vowed that the 2012 champions of Africa will be in South Africa to defend their title.
Cafonline.com: Congratulations on your victory. What is your general overview of the match? Are you happy and satisfied with the way you played and the result?
Renard: First of all, I would like to thank the fans for their wonderful support. They created a fantastic atmosphere for us to play. The stadium was excellent and the crowd was what we wanted. But I am not happy with the result. We had many chances to score more goals but we didn't. We were not efficient enough and that's why we didn't score more than one goal.
Cafonline.com What could have led to the team not converting the many chances created? You said before the game that you wanted your team to be efficient. What happened to the efficiency ?
Renard: This is football. Sometimes it is like that. I laugh many times what can happen in football. But we did what we could. But I know we will be stronger in Kampala.
Cafonline.com: As you say, next up is the return match in Kampala. What do you expect of your team in that match in October?
Renard: We are going to be very strong in Kampala. I'm not happy with this result but one important thing is that we did not concede a goal here which is very positive. We will be strong when we play in Kampala.
Cafonline.com: Home fans expected to see Dutch based striker Jacob Mulenga of FC Utrecht make a return. You scored only one and the big striker did not even make the bench what happened?
Renard: Jacob was returning to the team after a year. We were all happy to welcome him back because he is a fantastic player and an important player for us. But he was not in the squad today because he needed to continue working to get back into the side. But he brings to the squad an excellent spirit. You just need to see the spirit in the team and the excellent drive and team spirit. He is back and you will see him soon.
Cafonline.com: Can you still qualify for the finals and do you think you can do it in Kampala and make it to South Africa to defend your title next year?
Renard: We won our African title away from home. We can win in Kampala. We know the game will be difficult. But we will go there and we will do it. The target for us is to go to South Africa finals yes l am confident we will do it.
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