Chipolopolo Gun Down The Foxes – What We Learnt
Zambia on Tuesday night kept alive her hopes of qualifying for the world cup in Russia after completing a ‘double’ over much fancied Algeria. Here, ZamFoot pundit, Coach Franklyn Malambo, takes a look at five notable pointers from the Chipolopolo triumph over Algeria.
1. POSITIVE RESPONSE TO PRESSURE
Among the drivers to success in any field, positive response to pressure cannot be ignored. As the stakes rise, so does the pressure to meet targets.
There was pressure on the team which had not won any match in the final qualifying series but the lads put up a splendid performance by embracing the pressure and using it as a fuel. They showed hunger and desire for the results and duly earned them. Mental strength and desire were unquestionable.
2. COLLECTIVE AND INDIVIDUAL BELIEF
There is always strength that lies in the collective but even much more is the strength that lies in belief of one’s own capability and how much it can flourish complimented by others. It said numbers don’t lie and coming into the Match Algeria were ranked 48 globally and 8th on the continent whilst Zambia had a lowly 96th and 25th in the world and Africa respectively.
The rankings represent the ends on which both sides were coming into the game but the Zambian Lads tore the script and chose to write their own numbers. The team Unit displayed was exceptional and the lads made a clear statement, ‘WE’ can take on anyone.
3. THE ZSL HAS QUALITY
As a continuation from the recent good runs of local clubs on the continent, the contribution of the clubs in form of man power to the National team is excellent. On both Match days the average contribution to the 14 that played is 7 which represents 50℅ and even increases when one looks at the full squad that was selected for the encounter.
The players that play in the local league were not fazed by the big stage and were good ambassadors not only for their clubs but the league as a whole.
4. TECHNICAL BENCH KNOWS IT’S DIRECTION
It may be one of the biggest on terms of numbers but that counts for less when results start coming. In the early days of Wada at the helm, much was said about his inconsistencies and large selection but thus far it has proved he was casting the net wide and giving everyone deserving of a chance.
The new injections in the team show that the transition from the ‘heroes’ is certainly on and new guns are coming to the party. The Technical bench is playing to our strengths.
In years gone by, we would mostly focus on opposition strengths and nullifying them and forgot we had our own strengths. This bench seems to have not forgotten what we possess and hinging their approach on skill, speed and strength which we possess in abundance will only make us a force.
Given enough time and space to work, we are heading the right way.
5. FANS JUST WANT RESULTS
Fans have in the recent past demonized the senior Chipolopolo following the exploits of the Under 20 lads and later on the Under 17. Losing to Mozambique only added fuel to the fire.
The win and subsequent qualification for CHAN did not really help matters. By the time Brian Mwila had scored his brace, it was Chipolopolo on everyone’s lips and when Mwepu added the finishing touch, everyone had forgotten their calls for certain players that most thought were even entitled to positions.
The message is clear from the fans, it doesn’t matter who plays as long as the team wins. Beating Algeria is no mean feat considering it had not been done before in FIFA qualifiers and even doing it in their own backyard where they had not lost in 10 years is testament of the achievement the lads have posted. Only 10 days ago, Zambia’s hopes looked all but dashed buy in the space of 180 Minutes the dream is very much alive.
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