Flames dedicated their 2-0 win over Chad in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers to the fans and their coach Kinnah Phiri.
Stand-in captain Moses â€˜Lubaâ€™ Chavula said they had to play their lungs out and qualify for the second and final round of qualifiers for the sake of the fans who rallied behind them even after a string of unimpressive results.
â€œWe had to win this game for the sake of the fans who stood by us. Over and above that, we had to do it for the coach because it was evident that he was under intense pressure,â€ said Chavula.
He also saluted the outpouring show of nationalism, by thousands of local fans who backed their cause.
â€œWe had a meeting prior to this game where it was noted that although the fans still stood by us, they were slowly losing their patience.
â€œThere were no two ways, we had to win at all cost,â€ said Chavula.
His deputy Joseph Kamwendo also paid tribute to the fans.
â€œIt just feels good to see the fans celebrating after a long time. Even when the results were hard to come by, the fans never lost confidence in us,â€ said Kamwendo.
Commenting on the penalty he missed penalty, Kamwendo said: â€œIt was unfortunate, but I knew that I would make amends at some point. I never lost my cool.
â€œIt happens in football, you can either miss or score a penalty, but the good thing was that I made up for the miss,â€ he said.