Mozambique coach Horácio Gonçalves has given a candid analysis of his Mambas’ displays, saying they were nervous during their home meeting with star-studded Côte d’Ivoire on Friday.
The Group D second round match of the FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022™ qualifiers for Africa ended goalless at Zimpeto National Stadium in Maputo, a result the Portuguese mentor attributed to nervousness.
“We entered [the field of play] with some nervousness,” the former Costa do Sol league-winning coach told Mozambique Football Federation Media Team.
“We had difficulties for a long time in the first half because of our positioning. We missed a lot of passes and didn’t close the spaces well. We had to attack from the left and that’s when we got the ball.”
The veteran coach has since advised his relatively young team to start games on the front foot if they are to do well against other opponents in the group—Malawi and Cameroon.
“I don’t think we can have that kind of mentality of waiting for the opponent to go after the ball,” said Gonçalves.
Mozambique’s next game for the group will be on Tuesday against Malawi at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, after CAF declared Bingu National Stadium of Lilongwe as unfit to host the World Cup qualifiers for the Flames.
Mozambique will then travel to face Cameroon in October.
Cameroon lead the group with three points after beating the now bottom-placed Malawi 2-0 on Friday evening whereas Côte d’Ivoire and Mozambique are in second and third places with one point each.