No excuses over CHAN exit, says Kamanga
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga says there are no excuses for Zambia’s quarterfinal elimination from the 2018 African Nations Championship.
And Chipolopolo assistant coach Aggrey Chiyangi says it is painful to bow out of the competition at the same stage for the second time in a row.
Zambia on Saturday lost 1-0 to Sudan, failing to register a real shot at goal with the only real threat being midfielder Kondwani Mtonga’s glancing header that was bravely saved by goalkeeper Akram Elhadi in the 23rd minute.
Reacting to calls by fans back home for the dismissal of the technical bench, Kamanga said the technical committee would sit to review all aspects of the team’s performance and chart the way forward.
“We are disappointed that we have lost at this stage of the tournament we were just close to the semi-final. But football being what it is, it’s got only three results: you either draw, win or lose. But in a knockout stage, you only have two possibilities, it’s either you win or you lose. It’s just unfortunate that today we couldn’t rise to the occasion so the result is there to show for itself that we lost 1 – 0,” Kamanga said.
He said fans’ anger was understood when results were bad.
And asked if the coaches’ lamentations during post-match comments that preparations could have been done better, Kamanga said: “We don’t want to give excuses, but we did plan to camp the team in Morocco much earlier but we had challenges organising the travel which only happened a few days before the tournament kicked off. But again the coach took the team to Mongu I don’t know whether that again is positive or negative but I can’t answer for him. But we remain committed as an association to continue giving the coaches enough time, enough friendly games so that the teams are adequately prepared. That I think is something we remain committed to do…. No we just didn’t perform; we played four games, won the first two, drew the third one and lost the fourth one, so we just have to look at that trajectory. We may sit here and give excuses.”
Kamanga said Chipolopolo simply failed to perform as a team and cautioned against apportioning blame on individual players.
He added that the association was disappointed because the target of reaching the semi-final as a minimum was not reached.
Head coach Wedson Nyirenda did not appear for post-match interviews on Saturday but delegated Chiyangi.
“It’s very disappointing that we did not utilise the chances that we created. That is the only disappointment,” said Chiyangi.[The Mast]
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