Mozambique coach Abel Xavier has praised the efforts of his players despite losing 3-1 to Ghana in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers played in Accra on Thursday.
Xavier, a former Portuguese international, said that his team had a short time to get ready for the match but the players managed to steady themselves and give off a good performance in the second half.
The match was Xavier’s first in charge of the team since his appointment in January this year.
“We did not have a lot of days to work on routines and movements. But I believe that today was good for us. Our team was new because the players are in Mozambique and Europe and there was not enough time to gel.
“But I liked how they competed. They reacted to adversity in terms of the second goal (scored by John Boye). I felt really dignified by their attitude.”
Mambas find goal for the first time in qualifiers
After going blank in their first two matches against Rwanda and Mauritius, Mozambique found the net for the first time in the series and although Xavier said they would work on being more productive upfront, he stressed the need to be sound in defence first.
“I do not like to concede goals because it means you would have create more chances than your opponent if you commit mistakes.
“But we need to be organised defensively and we showed that against Ghana today. For me, the most important thing is that we remain that way and still create three or four chances against a team like Ghana.
“That gives me hope and confidence ahead of the next match on Sunday and for the future.”
Mozambique are yet to pick up any points in the qualifying series for the 2017 AFCON. They have lost the matches they have played so far.
Credit: Nathan Quao/Citifmonline