ZAMBIA Under-20 coach Charles Bwale described the 1-1 draw with Mozambique in the last group A match as a setback.
Zambia topped group A to set up a semi-final date with Zimbabwe.
“It’s good to get a point like we have done though we prepared for a win. It’s a setback for us. Like my counterpart has said we controlled the first half but after we scored we noticed some level of issues to do with complacency with some players, ” Bwale said.
However, he said he was not worried with his team’s lack of accuracy in front of goal.
“I cannot be worried of anything. We have a space of two days in between so definitely we need to work on our weakness and also consolidate on our strengths. So these boys like I have been saying always, I think, they have come out of that shell and they are ready to meet any challenge that comes their way,” said Bwale. “Our technical bench will work on that and when we play Zimbabwe you will see a different approach.”
Zimbabwe are Group C winners.
It was not business as usual for the junior Chipolopolo against the young Mambas.
Prior to the match the Charles Bwale coached side had beaten Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 apiece.
It was a bad outing for Bwale’s lads, who were eyeing to revenge the 1-0 defeat inflicted on the senior Chipolopolo by Mozambique last month.
Skipper Edward Chilufya put the host ahead on 13 minutes after coolly slotting home a Mwiya Malumo cut back.
Malumo was handed a start by Bwale and repaid the faith shown in him by setting up Chilufya.
The England based forward showed composure to elude a challenge from Fidel Sousa before finding the on rushing Chilufya on the penalty spot.
After taking the lead, Zambia increased the tempo and almost got the second but midfielder Benson Kolala was denied by both the upright and keeper Julio Matavele in quick succession.
Kolala smashed the post on 40 minutes off a Malumo cross and saw his rebound from a Lameck Banda cross parried away by Matavele.
After the break Zambia continued pining down the visitors but were let down by poor finishing with Chilufya being the chief culprit.
As the two teams headed for the intervals the heavens opened, making the pitch slippery hence disturbing the follow of the game.
Bwale withdrew Banda for Emmanuel Mwiinde on 68 minutes.
Before that Bradley Mweene was called into action with a series of saves to deny the Mozambicans.
With Zambia headed for a win, Mozambique restored parity on 78 minutes through Kamo-Kamo Cumbane following a goal-mouth melee.
“I would like to say congratulations to my players. This is the best result. We had two two halves first and second. First half belonged to Zambia but second half we changed and I am so happy with the result,” Mozambique coach Victor Jose Matinee.