Bittersweet victory for Zambia match-winner Daka

Two goal-hero in Chipolopolo’s victory over Zimbabwe in Harare, Patson Daka, says winding up the campaign with a victory was important to give the team confidence ahead of upcoming Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Daka, who has netted four goals in two games in the final two rounds of the Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, says his goals were because of a team effort that saw the squad fight for each other to subdue the Warriors in their backyard.

Zambia beat Zimbabwe 2-0 at National Sports Stadium in Harare to finish in third place with seven points in Group H and narrowly miss out on qualification to the Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Red Bull Salzburg striker, who is among the hottest prospects in world football, says he will keep his feet on the ground and be swayed by persistent transfer rumours.

“Despite us winning it is a very emotional day for us in that we could not go to the Africa Cup. It is one thing that we were looking forward to but unfortunately that was not the plan from God, we just must accept what has happened,” he said.

“We have shown that we did not just play around but we came to give our best for our country. We played as a team; at the end of the day, we got a result which was important for our confidence going forward.”

Daka added: “From the word go we have been looking forward to the World Cup qualifiers, today’s game was part of the process, the start of the process, we made sure that today’s game is going to give us direction in the World Cup qualifiers going forward.”

The Kafue Celtic product said that the team will have to work on a lot of things to get their World Cup campaign in good shape.

“We know that we have a lot of things we have to work on, and the coach is the best person that can bring those things. We just must work together as a team and follow the coach’s instructions,” he said.

Daka remains modest despite the waves his exploits on the pitch have been causing in the global game.

“Four goals in two games is not very important for me because I could not have done it alone, it was a team effort because if my friends were not there to support me I could not have made it,” he said.

“So, I give the credit to the team because we played as a team and helped each other. At the end of the day, I was just found in the right place at the right time to be the person that helps the team.”

He said that he will focus on his game while his agent will worry about possible moves in the top European leagues.

“I only concentrate on playing football, that is what I am good at whatever speculation that comes I do not pay attention because I know that my agent is there to do the work. I do not really pay attention to what the media says because rumours will always be there as long as you are doing well,” he said.

“For me I try to work hard each and every day because like for example today’s performance they will not count it tomorrow, I really have to keep my consistency, every day to do my best and make sure that I continue to help the team in every possible way.”

Daka says his target is always to help the team.

“My target has always been the same from the very first moment I started playing football. It is to always help the team in every game. I do not have to concentrate too much about the future because my future is today. What I do today will determine my future,” he says.

Daka has netted five goals in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and tops the charts although other teams are playing their final matches today with some players standing on four goals.

His 20 goals in 18 outings for Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga has added to his fast-rising stock.

Source: Football Association of Zambia