Blog: A stable backline or team effort
Prior to Sunday’s final the Junior Chipolopolo have had a commendable defensive record only conceding twice in four matches that include one that went to extra time.
The Zamfoot Crew ‘s Kondwani Gondwe has a look at the lapses causing the goals conceded in the tournament, assesses whether this defensive record will stand through tomorrow’s final and lastly looks into the defensive tactic to be credited with such a feat.
Abdul Karim Dante (Mali) vs Zambia
Corner delivered to the edge of the 6 yard box and the Malian Skipper rose highest to head past a watching Mangani Banda.
The center backs should have tracked his position and attempted to head away before it got to Dante.
Rocket of a header. Still could have been defended in a more committed manner.
Karim Hassan (Egypt) vs Zambia
Egypt had a very good spell of possession deep in their half before a swift run through midfield, spreading the ball to the right where the winger squared the ball onto the run of Karim Hassan who delicately lobbed the onrushing keeper.
Positionally the Zambian back line was on song but for Boyd Musonda in midfield who allowed the play to start in his territory. Second culpable player in the play was Solomon Sakala who should have read the play and intercepted the cross as he Was the left central defender inside of Prosper Chiluya who was already beaten by a one time cross.
Really swift play from the Egyptians and one would have thought they’d score more of those on the night.
WHAT’S BEHIND THE DEFENSIVE SOLIDITY?
The Zambian back four has been really switched on during the games thus far and has been well aided by the tracking back of the right sided midfielder and central midfielders. Fashion Sakala on the left is more of a forward but has still contributed by supporting the left full back.
Individually Shemmy has been ready to commit on the right. Not fully convincing on the overlap but kept it tidy at the back.
Moses Nyondo has been calm figure alongside the skipper. Mostly looking to play a pass rather than boot forward. A human wall off the ball.
Skipper Solomon Sakala has been really determined and willing to take on extra slack and cover for his team mates. A bit shaky in the first game but he’s really coming of age here.
Left back Prosper Chiluya has been a real revelation, good ball recoveries and excellent runs forward to widen the attack and stretch opposition back lines. Remember the name.
So the question remains. Will this defensive record stand through tomorrow’s final?
From a statistical point of view it’s a goal every other game. So the most we could concede as per an expected goal forecast will be a goal which in itself is sufficient to lose a match.
But based on performance as a unit most will agree that this Zambia team will not allow many big chances and shots in prime areas, which is part of why they have not conceded much.
Senegal have been consistent with scoring and put 4 past a nervy Amajita side in the group stages to spin the group on its head and could be on course to be the first team to score more than once against Zambia in this competition. But only the 90 tomorrow will tell.
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