AFTER watching Brazil toil to win 2-0 on his debut at the helm of Zambia, interim coach, Patrice Beaumelle has expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Chipolopolo against the five-time world champions.
And Brazil veteran coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari described Zambia as a competitive team that was difficult to beat.
Zambia made Brazil to work hard in a historic international friendly match played at the iconic Bird’s Nest National Stadium in Beijing, China on Tuesday, the first international assignment for Beaumelle since assuming the Chipolopolo top job last week.
The 35-year-old Frenchman took over the mantle from compatriot and former boss, Herve Renard who quit the Zambia job for a club in his native France at Ligue 1 side, FC Sochaux.
The former Chipolopolo assistant trainer saluted his charges for putting up a first-rate performance against the FIFA 2013 Confederations Cup champions despite losing.
Beaumelle said the 2012 African champions showed a lot of determination and proved to the world that they belonged to the global football’s top level.
He said the Chipolopolo had a good game but only made two mistakes which cost them the game.
“We had a good game. The boys played well, we made two mistakes; they cost us, but overall, I am satisfied.
“The boys showed a lot of determination and the heart and showed the world and Africa that they belong to this high level,” Beaumelle said after the match.
And Scolari conceded that Zambia was a difficult team to beat and that they were a competitive squad.
Scolari saluted the Chipolopolo players, saying they were a great team who worked for each other.
“They made it difficult for us because they were very competitive. We are satisfied with this result but I’m sure Zambia too. They are a great team who work for each other,” he said after the Selecao delivered a fourth successive win on their world tour.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president, Kalusha Bwalya paid tribute to the Chipolopolo for their courageous display and said the match against Brazil heralded the start of a new era for Zambian football.
In his address to the team at the five-star Marco Polo Hotel soon after the match, Kalusha said the players demonstrated to the world what a great footballing nation Zambia was and that he was proud of the team.
“I would like to commend all you boys for your hard work, dedication and commitment which has seen us through this match and I am proud that you demonstrated to the rest of the world what a great football nation we are,” he said.
The 1988 African Footballer-of the-Year said the match was a wonderful learning exercise and experience for the Chipolopolo and heralded the start of a new era for the local sport.
“It’s been a wonderful learning exercise and experience. We take many lessons and positives from the match and what we showed today and the work we’ve put in over the last seven days heralds a new era for our football; an era of hard work, top level professionalism and above all humility which was demonstrated by Brazil and yourselves throughout the match and even after the match,” Kalusha said.
He added that he was sure every Zambian was proud of the team and now agreed that the Chipolopolo were capable of facing any opposition in the world.
Kalusha thanked Brazil for according Zambia a rare opportunity to face them and that FAZ now looked to the future with great hope.
Brazil, the FIFA 2014 World Cup hosts, were using the Zambia match as part of their preparations for next year’s global football showpiece.
Source: Times of Zambia