Local football pundits have urged the national side to pick up the pieces and restore some lost pride following a dismal showing in their African Nations Championship (CHAN) opening match against Guinea on Tuesday evening in Limbe.
The Brave Warriors lost 3-0 in a match marred by poor defending. Horoya AC forward Yakhouba Barry scored a brace, while the other goal came from Morlaye Sylla to give the West Africans complete control of group D.
However, local commentators believe the team can use the defeat to go back to the drawing board and conjure up a victory against Tanzania on Saturday. Tanzania also lost their opening match 2-0 to Zambia on Tuesday night.
The Brave Warriors will now need to get positive results against Tanzania and Zambia in their last group match to stand a chance to qualify to the next stage.
Former Brave Warriors assistant coach Woody Jacobs said it was not a secret the team played badly against Guinea, who were the better side on the night. He was, however, quick to add the defeat could as well help the team bounce back against Tanzania.
“I think it is a fact we all know we lost to Guinea 3-0. We played dismally and we cannot argue about that. Do we also have an excuse for that? No, we don’t. I think the team should use the defeat and go back to the drawing board and find a solution on the way forward,” Jacobs said.
The former Tigers mentor urged the nation to not focus on criticising the team but rather rallying behind them as a form of motivation for the remaining fixtures.
“We should not be too critical on the team; we haven’t had any competitive match or any active football in the country, but that should not be an excuse either. We should just rally behind the team and send them motivational messages. We know the team will do well, we might have lost the match, but the war is not over yet,” he said.
Also speaking on the team’s performance, Black Africa head coach and former Brave Warriors striker Paulus Shipanga said he did not expect some of the country’s top players to make “schoolboy errors” in the match against Guinea.
He, however, said that motivation and confidence will be needed to ensure the team produces the needed results against Tanzania, who are also hoping to get their first win at the tournament. “It was a shaky performance. I believe it was lack of a game plan. We made few mistakes, which we did not expect to come from some top players in the local league. I believe they need to utilise this defeat and fuel themselves with confidence going forward,” he said.
“Going forward, the team should rearrange and change the formation they used in their last match. We have to go out and attack and beat Tanzania and finish the last match against Zambia on a high note. I am sure the team has the potential to reach the semi-finals.”
Brave Warriors coach said in a post-match interview his team has picked up valuable lessons from the game against Guinea.
“We take lessons from this defeat to Guinea,” Samaria said.
“We conceded two goals because of some silly mistakes. There are no excuses here, but we lost to a well-prepared team of Guinea. We now need to go back to the drawing board to plan for our next game against Tanzania.”