22 January 2012
Senegal coach Amara Traore has sought to downplay the significance of his side s shock Africa Cup of Nations opening defeat to Zambia.
The star-studded Lions were tipped to finish top of Group A but now face a battle to qualify after falling 2-1 to the Zambians here on Saturday, their situation complicated further with Equatorial Guinea beating Libya.
Traore however said on Sunday: “We lost a battle, not the war. It ll wake us up, and that s going to help me a lot on the psychological front.
“We turned the page on this match this morning, holding a debriefing on what needed to be fixed. My talk to the team was based on the fundamentals: passing, working as a unit..to be aggressive.”
He added: “Quite a few of the players are competing in their first Nations Cup.
“We can t rest on our showing in the qualifiers, we have to do more.”
Traore was talking after overseeing a post-match training session in which captain Mamadou Niang, taken off at the break on Saturday, figured in the B side.
Senegal were stunned by two breakaway goals in the first 20 minutes from Emmanuel Mayuka and Rainford Kalaba and all they had to show for their dominance after half-time was a Dame N Doye goal which set up a tense climax.
Straight after the match Traore had described the first half performance as “a calamity”.
But he noted: “Zambia caused us a lot of discomfort and did more running. But we still have a chance to get through. Tonight changes nothing.”
Senegal have a chance to make amends on Wednesday when they meet the co-hosts Equatorial Guinea.
AllAfrica – All the Time