Ebebiyin, Equatorial Guinea - Zambia coach Honour Janza accepted that his side's chances of qualifying for the last eight of the Africa Cup of Nations are now slim after a 2-1 defeat to Tunisia on Thursday.
The 2012 continental champions led in Ebebiyin through Emmanuel Mayuka only to be pegged back before conceding the decisive goal late on.
"The important thing is the end of matches. It hurts to lose such a match, but we need to wait for the last game and win it," said Janza.
"It will be very difficult for us to qualify. We needed a victory in this match."
Zambia face Cape Verde in their final game, having drawn 1-1 with DR Congo in their tournament opener.
And Janza appeared to hit out at his players for their failure to see out the victory.
"It looked like we would win it, but it didn't work in the end. A coach wants to see his players score, but it is difficult for a coach to control: the players have their egos and it is up to them to play as a team and not as a collection of individuals."
Captain Rainford Kalaba added: "Today the spirit we showed was really good but I don't know what happened to my team-mates after our goal.
"I didn't recognise my team. We will sit down and discuss what happened."