ZAMBIA coach, Patrice Beaumelle has said drawing the opening 2013 GOtv CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup match against Tanzania was the fairest result for both teams.
After watching his charges battle to a 1-1 draw in the Group B opener at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, Kenya on Thursday, Beaumelle said the condition of the soggy pitch after a downpour made it difficult for both teams to play a free-flowing game.
He said it was not easy for the Chipolopolo and Taifa Stars to fully express themselves on such a muddy pitch and that he was therefore happy to snatch a point from the match.
“From the conditions of the pitch especially after the rains, it was not easy for both teams and I think a draw is the fairest result,” he said.
The Frenchman, who took over the reigns from compatriot, Herve Renard last month said, the Chipolopolo players struggled to control the ball in midfield and that the game could not just flow.
Beaumelle, who is still searching for his first win in four matches since assuming his role as Chipolopolo top coach, said his focus now was on the next match against Burundi tomorrow which he hopes Zambia could win.
“It was not easy for my players to control the ball in the midfield; the game could not just flow. We are happy with one point and look forward to the upcoming matches. We will work on our mistakes.
“It is always tough to play the CECAFA; we will see what happens after three games. We have to recover because this pitch was demanding; we need a lot of massage. We have to prepare ourselves for the next game against Burundi; they won, they have three points, they are leading the group. We have to beat them to move on,” he said.
But Tanzania coach, Kim Poulsen said the Taifa Stars played better football and deserved the three points.
However, Poulsen said, looking at the quality of the opponents, Zambia, who are the 2012 African champions, a draw was okay for Tanzania.
“Zambia is a big team but we had a good approach to the game. We were good in the midfield and attack and we deserved better. But a draw is fine with us,” Poulsen told the local media.
With Zambia and Tanzania drawing the first match, Burundi, who beat Somalia 2-0, lead the chart on three points.
MTN Premier Division League top scorer, Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba gave Zambia the lead on 41 minutes but Tanzania crawled back in the game three minutes after the break with Said Hussain Moradi finding the equaliser.
Zambia’s next game is against Burundi at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi tomorrow.
Times of Zambia