Mozambique coach Abel Xavier bemoaned a lack of intensity and passion on the part of his team in their opening day defeat at the COSAFA Cup on Sunday, as they were beaten 2-1 by Madagascar in the Group A in Polokwane.
“We lacked conviction and we were not a determined enough as we should have been to make things happen,” said the former Portuguese international after the game at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.
“We had a strategy for this game, but it looked as if we were not so keen in the first half. Our structure was not compact enough and we lacking some intensity. We made the structures up in our game plan but if you have alack of intensity, you give opportunity to your opponents,” Madagascar have two very creative midfielders.
“In the second half we created a lot of chances. I had told my players in the dressing room that we had been under performing. As a coach what you want from your players is the ability to transfer what we work on in training ground into the game situation and to stick to the plan of the game.”
Asked by reporters why Mozambique failed to utilise several set piece opportunities, the coach added: “Set pieces is a question of who wants more. We were not serious enough to make it happen.”
But Xavier still sees a bright light at the end of the tunnel. “Mozambique will grow. It’s going to be tight but we are now going to correct the mistakes.”
They will not have much time as their next game is on Tuesday against the Comoros Islands in Seshego. It will be the second game in Group A for both countries.