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GHANA GAVE US A GOOD RUN – COACH

SHEPOLOPOLO coach Bruce Mwape says he needs to work on the midfield of his team judging from the Ghana friendly encounter on Saturday.
And Ghana women national football team coach Bashiru Hayford says he was using the game to fine tune his squad ahead of the Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana 2018 later this month.
Speaking in a post-match interview after Zambia struggled to beat Ghana with a 3-2 victory at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka, Mwape said the Black Queens had given the Shepolopolo a feel of the continental challenge ahead.
“Ghana has experienced players and they have been taking part in such tournaments so they have given us an insight of what to expect when we go to Ghana for the AfCON. Beating a big team is not easy, Ghana actually controlled the game especially the first half but we picked up towards the end of the second half,” Mwape said.
He said the players had disappointed him.
However, Mwape heaped praises on Racheal Kundananji who scored a hat trick in the match.
“The players haven’t played to our expectations because we were expecting them to do much better than they did this afternoon… Rachael is actually improving nearly every other game, she actually started playing nearly two years ago. She has not played a lot of league games as compared to other players,” said Mwape.
“The ball control cost us the possession, we were losing the ball cheaply because of poor ball control. Anyway the mistakes were mostly made by our midfielders but we will work on that.”
His Ghanaian counterpart, Hayford said his team was yet to blend as the players had just come together from their respective clubs.
“Some of our players just came in, and they are not in good shape. We have about two weeks to prepare and I hope, we will prepare very well,” said Hayford. “Our play wasn’t bad but the goals will tell you that the other side was better than us. The first half we were on top but I have asked them to put the loss behind. The tournament is what we are preparing for so the loss is not painful, this was part of the training. My people at home may think otherwise but I don’t have a problem at all, it was part of preparation.”
Both Zambia and Ghana are concluding preparations for the forthcoming 2018 Africa Cup of Nations which kicks off on November 17, in Ghana.
Zambia faces defending Champions Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya in Group B of the knockout stage.

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