10 June 2012

Zambia/Ghana: It Was Important for Us to Win - Renard

Photo: Confederation of African Football.
Zambian national soccer coach Herve Renard.

interview

After reigning African champions Zambia put back on track their campaign for Brazil 2014, Chipolopolo trainer Herve Renard expressed satisfaction with the win. The French-born coach said collecting three points was the primary target. He said he was happy with the result and praised his squad for the result asserting that his Chipolopolo deserved to win because they played well. Renard spoke to Cafonline.com after the 1-0 win at the new Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Zambia's Copperbelt province.

Congratulations coach on your victory. You stated before the game that the fixture against Ghana would be tough. Are you satisfied with your team's performance, particularly the result?

Thank you and congratulations to Ghana for the good competition. I am very happy with the result because we played well. We could have scored more goals and I hope at the end of the group matches, we won't have to look back at the many chances we created today but put away just one.

You were very good in the first half and seemed to need an extra gear towards the end of the game. Did you become content with the first half goal and just played the last forty-five minutes to hold on to the lead in the second half?

We missed a lot of chances. We had three very good chances to win it by a good score line. Ghana did not create any chance throughout the match and our strategy of closing them in the middle worked well. It was difficult at the end because we only had one goal. Football can be like that. But remember that Ghana is a good team and we respect them for that. But my players showed a lot of character and the most important thing and target for us was to get three points and have our campaign back on track. Now we can look forward to the next games. We have Lesotho here, away and then Sudan before Ghana. It is a good path for us.

How significant was this victory?

It was very important especially after we lost in Sudan. It was difficult in Sudan and Sudan remains a very difficult venue for many teams because they are very tough at home. With this win, we can now look to the next two games against Lesotho and then Sudan before we can think of Ghana. We should have a good run in the qualifiers and keep our dream alive.

Finally, how motivated were you playing in a new stadium and before a vociferous 40,000 crowd cheering you on ad singing Chipolopolo throughout?

It was very important. For the fans, we would like to thank them as well. They were fantastic and it is always important to have supportlike that.

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