CHAN 2018: Chipolopolo in the quarter finals – What we have learnt so far
Zambia’s Chipolopolo continued with their clean record of not losing during the group stages of a CHAN Tournament as they topped the group with 7 Points aided by a better goal difference over Namibia who amassed a similar total of points.
After the three games played, here are a few stand out attributes that were observed from Wedson Nyirenda’s team.
The team faced three different opponents from three different regions and all showed and posed different challenges.
Uganda are a possession based team and like having time on the ball. In the few times Zambia got hold of the ball, it was used effectively and produced 3 goals. The team was patient enough to pick their moments.
Against Ivory Coast, Zambia were afforded a lot of space and effectively time on the ball. The players put in a great shift of ball retention and made the ball do the work. In instances were possession was ceded, they were alert enough to recover in good time and nullify any possible threats.
In Match 3 of the group, Namibia, who have a similar style to Zambia’s, were both combative and direct. The Chipolopolo struggled a few times to deal with their route one football but ultimately did enough.
Conclusively, the team adapted well and did what was required against 3 different kinds of opponents.
Going into the Tournament, the basic requirement was progress to the next round and it has been achieved accordingly.
The team played with their eyes fixed on the ultimate prize. In 2 of the group games, the opposition were on top of the Zambians applied a common yet crucial value to attaining results… Efficiency!!
Basic target was hit and look forward to the next round.
Basic yet crucial requirements for success in Sports. The team Showed their Mental Strength by pushing to the end relentlessly in all games played more so in coming back from a goal down against Namibia and staying focused even after surrendering a lead so quickly against Uganda and going on to score 2 more goals.
Toughness was in abundance in the game against Ivory Coast as despite having created chance after chance and not scoring more, the team pressed on and kept their emotions in check when it was so easy to get frustrated and settle for a solitary goal.
The team demonstrated both Will and Skill and how the two marry to attain success in tough conditions.
Goals are what people love to see in a football Match. The football may be pleasing to the eye with Neat and crisp passing but without goals, it becomes mundane.
The Zambian team has goals in it and creates chances at will. At times it looked effortlessly and so simple to play wide on the wings and have a cut back,yet it comes with hard and smart work.
Scoring 6 goals in 3 matches is an average of 2 per game and conceding only 2 in the same number of games represents 0.66 rate of concession per game which means at the same rate, all matches can be won.
BELIEF IN STYLE
It is a good attribute when individuals believe in themselves, even better when a group believes in the strength of the collective but perhaps the best is a combination of the two aided by Belief in the method of executing a specific plan.
In games where it seemed we were becoming predictable, the team stuck to the plan and believed it would bring results and so it did.
The style is much anchored on the player’s innate abilities and everyone obliged in playing it to each other’s strengths and ultimately into the style that was adopted for the group stages.
Players are reluctant to implement what they don’t believe in but even on their faces and general execution, it was easy to see they believed in what they were set out to do and did so effectively.
Knockout stages may be different from group stages games because they are a once off affair but whatever the case may be, those who emerge triumphant are those that stick to the Values they uphold and act accordingly as may be required by external factors without going off the rails.
All in all, Zambia have done well to this stage and against such a Foundation of attributes demonstrated should be able to build on in the tournament and progress from one level on to another.
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