Blog: Zambia U20 – When a loss is taken as a ‘good’ loss
The Zambia U20 national soccer team on Monday afternoon suffered their first loss since their return from a training camp in Spain.
Coach Franklyn Malambo of Zambianfootball.co.zm shares his views on Zambia’s loss to South Korea.
The gallant Zambian lads swept aside challenges left right and centre and have won all the 13 matches they have played since the team was assembled only losing to the Barcelona B side.
The lads seem to have known nothing but wins not even a draw was in their mind every time they step on the pitch.
There was a feeling that that the bubble would burst some day and it came with a heavy 4 – 1 defeat to U20 World Cup hosts, South Korea.
Yes it was a good Loss.
In Training matches, there are primarily 2 Variations:
1.Play a weak side to see if what you have been working on has been understood and
2.Play a strong side to see the weak points in the team.
At this stage of progression we are to focus on Option ‘2’ and I believe it is so with the technical bench.
With the team having been enjoying good form and a long successful spell, a dagger to the chest is okay as it is beneficial than it may be to the heart… It is an indication of the need to be much more careful next time when one engages in warfare and coming back even much stronger after a set back.
The loss to South Korea reminds us that we are not yet at the top of our game and that any team can beat us just as much as we are able to beat any team.
Worth noting is that the character is still at a high in the team considering that we went down and equalised soon after, that is a crucial trait especially at the top level of football.
The Koreans who beat us and even Ecuador whom we beat did not only test us mentally, but tactically and physically as well.
Modern football is played in the mind before the physical element comes in and as such we have to be street smart going forward.
The loss also shows us that we need to work on our defensive shape even before talking about the back line.
Defense is a collective job and even before the ball reaches our net, the 1st point of harassing and putting pressure on the ball is the player who loses possession be it a striker or a midfielder.
The First person to prevent a counter attack is the nearest to the ball.
Everything we do, think, activate or react to must be in relation to the position of the ball at any particular moment.
The loss also reminds us of the need for efficiency at this level of the game and to approach the goal in a constant ravenous manner.
Conceding four is a sign of how generous we may still be at the back and encourages us of the need to utilise and make all chances count.
We have played much comfortably at home and even in South Africa which is Just like home and soon enough by the end of the invitational tournament we will have a clear understanding of playing on neutral ground when not all factors are in your favour.
Good exposure for the lads.
We may not read much into a training game but by the next game and start of the tournament we will know and see how much coach Quick Silver Bestone Chambeshi ”wrote and read” of the invitational tournament.
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