Zambia coach Herve Renard has conceded that his players failed to heed to his warnings about the clear and present danger posed by Ethiopia.
A 10-man Ethiopia held Zambia to a 1-1 draw in a match in which they outplayed the African champions.
"We have to restart the stop watch in the remaining two games," Renard said.
"For us the draw looks like a loss. We should have beaten Ethiopia but we underrated them."
Renard said it hurt him to see Zambia play catch-up in the first half against Ethiopia.
Firstly goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene saved Zambia’s blushes when he stopped a penalty on 23 minutes.
Zambia still could not wrestle Ethiopia to the ground even when they were reduced to 10 men in the 32nd minute when goalkeeper Bushura Tasew was sent off for a challenge on Chisamba Lungu.
"Ethiopia had a very good game and we were not at our level in the first half," Renard added.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia coach Bishaw Sewnet says he is keeping his feet on the ground with Burkina Faso and Nigeria still to come.
"Every time when you play against different teams things get tougher and we expect a tough game in our next match," Sewnet said.
Group C is all even on one point each after 1-1 draws in both opening games.
Nigeria and Burkina Faso, like Zambia and Ethiopia, also played out to a 1-1 draw.
Zambia face Nigeria on Friday in the early kick-off while Ethiopia take on Burkina Faso in the second Group C game in the evening kick-off.