ZANACO coach Keagan Mumba acknowledges his side’s lack of experience


ZANACO coach Keagan Mumba has rued his side’s lack of experience in the wake of a 3-1 goal aggregate defeat to Orlando Pirates in the CAF champions’ league second round qualifiers.
Speaking at a post match briefing, Mumba said Zanaco was eliminated not because they were a bad side but due to the lack of experience as compared to their South African opponents.
He said his players tried their level best and put pirates under a lot of pressure but could not find the killer blow that was needed to win the match.
“I think the boys played very well, our game plan we thought we could play an offensive game and I think we did just that. But it showed that Pirates were more experienced and deserved to win,” Mumba said.
He said he was happy with the performance of his players who responded well after the first leg home defeat at Nkoloma stadium.
He said it was not easy to play Pirates at their home ground and coming into the match a goal down was always going to be difficult.
He also said felt his team was denied a goal when Rodrick Kabwe’s shot seemed to have crossed the line though he admitted he was not sure if the whole ball was over the line.
“I think this is why FIFA wants to introduce goal line technology. That ball looked to have crossed the the line, but I think we can call this a lame excuse for our elimination,” he said.
And Pirates coach Roger De Sa commended Zanaco for their brave display against his side.
De Sa said the Zambian champions played a lot better in South Africa as compared to way they played in Lusaka in the first leg.
“We are happy to go through and we knew it was always going to be tough against the Zambian champions. I think the one nil away was crucial for us and it set the base for us to play more confidently because we knew Zanaco were going to come at us,” De Sa said.
“We are not used to teams coming at us, usually when we play at home teams are cagey, so it opened up a beat and I’m happy with a couple of new boys who came in the team to replace the injured ones.”
Pirates beat Zanaco 2-1 in the return match played at the FNB Stadium despite putting up a spirited fight which almost saw the Zambian champions overturn the first leg 1-0 defeat in Lusaka.
Pirates opened the scores 37th minute when Khethowakhe Masuku was allowed a lot space at the edge of the box and fired in a low shot past fully stretched Racha Kola in goal.
Zanaco however equalised three minutes into the second half half when subsititute Musonda Mwape headed in a Davies Mwape cross from the left to send panic in the Pirates team.
Zanaco enjoyed a lot of ball possession after equalising and thought had taken the lead when a long range Rodrick Kabwe effort looked like it had crossed the line when Pirates goalkeeper Meyiwa Senzo failed to handle it but the referee ignored the queries from the Zanaco players.
However with only 14 minutes to play substitute Mpho Makola broke the hearts of Zanaco faithfuls with a stunning free kick to grab the winner and send the Buccaneers through to the final stage of the qualifiers where they are likely to meet another horde of Zambians playing for Congolese giants TP Mazembe.