Zambia head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has confessed that hosts Senegal taught them a valuable football lesson in Saturday’s international friendly.
The Chipolopolo lost 3-1 to the highest-ranked African footballing nation in Thies in a match that saw the hosts finishing the game in the first half itself by burying three goals to go into the break with a commanding 3-0 lead.
“In football, anything can happen. You can lose to a top-class team but in the same moment lose honourably,” Micho said.
“But I believe that both teams have benefited from this match and thanks to Senegal for teaching us a lesson.”
Micho has carried a second-string side on the three-match tour that has only four foreign-based call-ups out of the initial fourteen that were summoned, including Cardiff City striker Ntazana Mayembe.
The Zambia coach admitted that he missed the services of star striker Patson Daka and midfielder Enock Mwepu who were excused from the three-match tour due to their prospective transfers from Austrian champions RB Salzburg this summer.
Striker Fashion Sakala was also excused following his recent move from KV Oostende in Belgium to Steven Gerrard’s Scottish champions Glasgow Rangers.
“For me, this was a very important selection match where I have seen which players can be in the World Cup qualifiers in September and which players are not capable because the jersey is heavier than their qualities. So we have learnt the lessons from a very good team,” Micho added.
Micho has grand plans for Zambia and will be hoping to see his call-ups redeem themselves this week starting on June 8 against Benin in Cotonou before travelling to play Sudan on June 11 at Omdurman in what will be another challenging game for a team that failed to make the final cut for next’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).