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Tactical – How Zimbabwe outplayed Zambia

2017 Cosafa Cup Final – Zambia 1 – 3 Zimbabwe

Playing six games in a space of two weeks did not look too big an ask for Zimbabwe chiefly because they got their tactics spot on in line with the demands of the occasion – the physical conditioning on the day and their technical abilities.

Zimbabwe early enough identified Zambia’s left full back Lawrence Chungu as the weak link in the team and placed on his flank the talented Talent Chawapiwa permanently who tormented the defender at will. The main asset for Chawapiwa is his trickery and pace which the Power Dynamos defender could not cope with.

Zambia playing on the base of 2 central defensive midfielders could have countered that by cutting supply to Chawapiwa using one between skipper Donashano Malama or Kack Chirwa. Clearly this did not happen despite the early warning signs.

Further, the Chipolopolo dominated the middle because of their setup and the Warriors simply avoided the central areas in preference to wide areas. Zambia should have used the central areas more to their advantage but instead chose to use the flanks even if they did not posses much pace on the wide areas. After Mike Katiba’s forced substitution, a change in personnel should have meant a change in approach but Wada Wada stuck to the same approach despite change in tools. Mundia’s goal was great but his placement on the flank was off. He has no pace and rarely takes on men so placing him on the wing was a negative move.

With Zimbabwe mounting pressure, the easiest route for the 2013 champions to counter that was not by sitting back but by going at then there-by pegging back their flamboyant attackers and nullifying their possible forward forays.

Brian Mwila and Justin Shonga are bright prospects for the future but both could not play with their backs to goal and only flourish with balls into the channels. The long ball from the back did not work well especially that they stood shorter than their opposing defenders and also because there was no one to get onto the knock down on the little occasions that they won it aerially.

The Chipolopolo always look stronger when playing it on the ground and should have done it more but when down, the lads panicked and forgot to do the good things they were already doing.

The wingers albeit not as effective as desired. Mwila Phiri has a lovely left foot but lacks in pace and as such if he is to be used wide he should leave space for Chungu to come forward as he has more pace than the winger. This meant Phiri should have been cutting in and to show one of his greatest assets, a POWERFUL shot.. The lack of pace meant the wingers were ineffective and defeated the whole purpose of playing a 4-4-2 and should have possibly gone for a 4-3-3 which demands less of pace but more of movement off the ball and intelligence which was available in abundance.

Much is said about the ‘Triple S’-Speed, Skill and Strength and the basis of our play as Zambia but on Sunday, we got a taste of our own medicine and Zimbabwe employed it to the later.

All things considered they were superior on the day but like any coach Wada Wada should have picked some pointers from the COSAFA outing that should aid him going forward.

16 Comments to Tactical – How Zimbabwe outplayed Zambia

  1. Chocho says:

    Yes indeed!! Going forward Home to rest or coach back in Mozambique.

  2. Seen from Afar says:

    Hope we can reach Chan.

  3. Billy says:

    I can only say that this team is not just good enough. The goalkeeper Allan Chibwe is useless; Ba Donashano with all the experience does not improve. The left back was porous and the less I say about other players the better. As with most Zambian national teams (with exception of U20) there is lack of coordination, the guys can’t string a series of good passes (ball possession). The midfield was dead. Whenever Zambia had possession, they just push the ball upfront (to whom it may concern). In short, most Zambian teams lack tactics, have no drive and ambition, lack aggressiveness and confidence. The earlier Wedson Nyirenda is fired the better. The Zambia national team of 2012 has gone with Herve Renard.

  4. Kuku says:

    I personally was surprised that we do have a Zambia B as we phase out the Chris katongo Zambia A. And i loved every minute of what i was seeing, a team playing with Vim in my humble opinion just a little unwise and timidity when it mattered. Otherwise excellent effort – please bring it to the league don’t fear to express yourself especially in last third – take your man on in one on one situations – do everything but purposefully with belief. Zimbabwe has been building and building finally they qualified to the last AFCON. And for their poor showing at the AFCON, at least they have a COSAFA in the bag, they deserve it.
    The last thing i want to say is South Africa organized a good tournament and once again showed they are a true ‘born again big brother’ with Shaka Zulu’s bad behavior of scampering our ancestors in all directions and the bombing of our bridges during that struggle. Excellent COSAFA – SA!

  5. Sab says:

    So this is the team that will play Algeria and qualify to the World Cup? Nyereda will take us no where pliz!!!!

  6. Ngake says:

    Excellent analysis. Whoever wrote this deserves credit. People are talking about Wada. Should he go? I personally do not think we have top players in the league coming through at the moment therefore let him continue learning at our expense (more misery). Upfront there is some hope in Mwila and Shonga. However a few positions such as defense (all positions) and central midfield are becoming perennial problem areas. Why cant we find a partner for Sunzu 6 years on. The wing back positions (both sides) are also problematic. Its either our players are too static too timid or lack tactical awareness and are caught out of position frequently. There is no Zambian born wingback of real class coming up, Why? When opposition teams attack our wings we always suffer. We have tried all sorts of players in these positions but we are always struggling. We used Joseph Musonda until he was in his 40s (why). Solution – At the end of the day we need to get top level coaches in our league. Zambian coaches are being found out. If we can have 5-6 top level expatriate coaches we can go somewhere. Coaching at National level is really Secondary based on top level coaching at club level. If you have mediocre coaches at clubs level, you can bring Mourinho you will never achieve anythiing. Herve Renard did it because a team was built for him over a period of time. He came at the right time and managed to motivate the guys because of the Gabon factor. Give the team which played at Cosafa final to Renard and he would also fail in my view.

  7. Thoko Ngwenya says:

    Great analysis and good football mind. Whatever happened to ‘bola pansi’. Today’s football is about Speed Strength and technical acumen.
    The last good winger I saw don a Zambia jersey was Clifford Mulenga.
    Our players are just took pedestrian.

    I just hope that in the off season who ever is in charge of the Olympic team can quickly draw up a plan to get that U20 team together for friendlies…with an eye to Tokyo 2020.

  8. Mwebantu says:

    The boys were pathetic and did “chipantepante” especially with Tanzania you could see why they were destined for a loss. After a display of good football by the Under 20, there is no excuse to have such an excuse of a team for a national team! The team must NEVER represent Zambia again! Get the Under 20 lads and give them Beston for a coach. That team is already ready and battle-tested. This one has a long way to go! Let them go home with their coach!

  9. sly says:

    Zambia will come will come back. Mark my words.

  10. Kuku says:

    Give him time, he probably has the best record among local coaches.Same players same coach. The coach can bring in other players, its a dynamic game. Keep going WADA.

  11. Kuku says:

    If you listen to them, they force you to make substitutions when you know who the best players are. Stay behind the boys and take away their pressure. Don’t do corruption just do your best for the country.

  12. Sibs says:

    @KUKU Are you serious or what? Give this Coach time? What time does he need?

    He can’t Coach the Senior National Team PERIOD. The results speak for themselves. Wait til we play Algeria. Tuka sebanaya!!

    • Kuku says:

      We saw new younger players play COSAFA final and i thought some of them are better than the ZESCO and ZANACO players, any coach will end up with that team and the under 20 who are doing well internationally or locally, that’s when we will start ticking again. for now its Kola, kalaba, Mayuka, Singuluma and the rest of the guys of past glory. Can WADA be allowed time to fuse together a new team? I doubt that? Kalu didn’t get the time, it had to be Herve Renhard after three years of kalu and other people identifying the new national team players. He needs time. Anyone will need time maybe. But who knows the Ziyo Tembo’s maybe could have other ideas.

  13. GSK11 says:

    Mr Franklyn – very nice analysis!!!!

  14. Chu says:

    Stop talking as if ur u-20 are a massive team. There are no match for a senior national team in Africa

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