Zambia faces the prospect of an early flight back home if they fail to beat Cape Verde on Monday in their final 2015 AFCON Group B match.
The 2012 champions are bottom of Group B with one point from two games played and are one point behind Cape Verde who are tied on two points with DR Congo.
Zambia made life complicated for themselves on January 22 when they squandered a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Tunisia in the two sides’ penultimate Group B match that handed the latter command of Group B on four points.
Victory for Zambia on Monday in Ebebiyin and a draw or win for Tunisia against DR Congo in their simultaneous kick-off in Bata will see Chipolopolo through to the quarterfinals.
Zambia and Cape Verde go into their final Group B decider tied on a win each from their previous meetings.
This will be the two sides third-ever meeting after recently squaring up in the 2015 Group F qualifiers last year.
Cape Verde beat Zambia 2-1 on September 9 at home in Praia before Chipolopolo avenged that loss in the closing Group F match on November 19 winning 1-0 in Ndola.
Blue Sharks coach Rui Aguas said he expects a very tough game against Zambia.
“We have played Zambia before and we have watched some games also but football is always moving differently and different players sometimes and the injuries sometimes like this time,” Aguas said.
“We have to take care and pay attention to all players because they all good.”
Cape Verde are looking in good health going into the game but the same cannot be said about Zambia.
Zambia striker Emmanuel Mayuka is a doubt after suffering a groin injury in the game against Tunisia last Thursday.
This is not good news for coach Honour Janza who has already lost key midfielder Nathan Sinkala to a knee injury sustained against DR Congo on January 18.