Zambia Under-20 (U20) coach Chisi Mbewe has described a two-nill loss to The Gambia on Friday as “a painful loss.”
Mbewe said this during a post-match press conference at Harras El Hodoud Stadium after Zambia suffered a 2-0 loss to The Gambia.
He said that his side could still salvage their campaign with a win over Tunisia on Monday.
“I feel it is a painful loss today,” he said.
Mbewe said his boys made too many mistakes at the back which cost them the game.
“In the second half we made a lot of turnovers, we made some mistakes which cost us into the second half of the game. it was just about a loss of concentration and mistakes that we made that made us to lose this game,” he said.
Mbewe said that game against Tunisia would be an opportunity for redemption especially Zambia had a point off the Benin match.
“The Tunisia game is going to be another tough game because both teams have a point and this is game that both teams will want to win,” he said.
“We just need to stay focused, we just need to prepare against Tunisia and be able to apply ourselves and maximize, if we are to stay in this competition.”
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This is according to the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) media statement made available to Sports Monitor on Saturday.
The Gambia coach Abdoulie Bojang said his side identified the Zambian defence as the weak link and capitalists on them.
The Gambia coach said he knew that Zambia would ‘fizzle’ out after having used most of their energy in the first half.
“We knew the Zambian defence is not good because we watched their game against Benin. Their weakness is their defence since yesterday we had a closer look at their game. Like at the first half, we could have scored three goals but unfortunately, we did not take our chances,” Abdoulie said.
“We knew that the energy they used in the first half, they could not maintain it throughout the 90 minutes so that is why we had to substitute him because he did not have the same energy.”
He said that his team was more focused on beating Zambia to ease the pressure going into the final game.
“We knew the importance of this game, we did not want to get to the last game to qualify,” Abdoulie said.
Zambia will need a win against Tunisia on Monday at Cairo International Stadium to have a chance of qualifying to the quarterfinals.
Top two teams in each group automatically qualify to the quarterfinals while two more spots will be available for the best third placed teams.
Zambia drew 1-1 with Benin in the opening match before succumbing to a 2-0 loss to The Gambia who booked their ticket to the last eight of the competition with two wins in as many games.
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