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Paul admits '5-star' Zambia was far superior

MQONDISI DUBE
Hail of bullets: Paul's side fell to the young Chipolopolo
Under-20 coach, Pio Paul has admitted his side were beaten by a far superior opponent, after the Young Zebras went down 5-0 to a rampant Zambian team in the opening match of the COSAFA Youth Championships on Wednesday.

Paul is in Lusaka with his charges for the regional tournament, which runs until December 14.

However, the Young Zebras made the worst possible start, and were at the end of a heavy defeat as the hosts proved inhospitable.

“Tactically, they were superior than us. We are using 17-year-olds. I have only two weeks with this team.

The Zambians have a mature team with players in their premier league. They were just too strong for my team, which is composed of players who are inactive,” Paul said yesterday.

He bemoaned his squad’s lack of international experience, but said he had taken some positives from the battering. “However, we need to do a lot with our Under-17 and Under-20 by getting them more international friendly games and

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tournaments,” he told Mmegi Sport.

Paul said he had received words of consolation from respected Zambian coach, Freddy Mwila, who coached TAFIC.

“He told me that this was a learning curve, and that our population is far less than that of Zambia.”

Paul is now preparing his young charges for what would be a critical clash against Malawi on Saturday.

If Botswana is to progress, they have to get a positive result against a marauding Young Flames side that put four past Comoros, on the same day the Young Zebras were receiving a hail of bullets from junior Chipololo.

It was a high scoring start to the junior COSAFA tournament, as Angola fired eight past a hapless Seychelles, before Malawi pumped four against Comoros.



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