Ntazana Mayembe has described his Zambia international debut as ‘unbelievable’ despite losing 3-1 against Senegal in Thies.
The 18-year-old Cardiff City striker came on in the 88th minute when he replaced Red Arrows defender Benedict Chepeshi.
“It was an emotional game. I mean, to come on, I thought let me just give it my all to play for the shirt and that’s all I could do,” Mayembe said.
“It was an unbelievable feeling and just overcoming my fears.”
Mayembe said it was just heartbreaking to be on the losing side in a match Zambia were second best for most of the game but put on a strong showing after the hour mark.
“Overall, we did well in the second half and applied ourselves well but in the first half we were not switched on in terms of the way we usually play our best football,” Mayembe said.
“But I think our best football certainly came in the last ten minutes of the second half and we should have done that from the first whistle.”
Losing to Senegal is not a surprising result although Zambia will be disappointed. Senegal are the highest-ranked African nation as per the FIFA rankings as they sit in 22nd place in the world. They are one of the favourites to win next year’s AFCON title while Zambia failed to qualify for the finals so there was a mismatch on paper.
Zambia has two more matches to play and Mayembe will be hoping for some more action against Benin next on June 8 in Cotonou and away to Sudan on June 11.
The Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) will be looking to make the most of these friendlies in a bid to prepare well for September’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.