Bradley hails Warriors

HARARE - Egypt coach Bob Bradley lauded the Zimbabwe football team’s performance and feels they are in the right direction in their re-building exercise and could become a force to reckon with in the near future.

Bradley was speaking soon after his team’s 4-2 win against the Warriors in a 2014 World Cup qualifier Sunday which took them within touching distance of a place in the decisive playoffs.

FC Basel winger Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick with the ageless Mohamad Aboutrika weighing in with the other goal.

Zimbabwe got their goals through Knowledge Musona and Lincoln Zvasiya.  

“I think Klaus-Dieter Pagels had done some pretty good work under a short space of time. You can see the flair and creativity of the team,” the American told reporters at the end of the match.

“For this match we looked hard at our last match against Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe did well in that match and there were things we needed to improve.

“But I think there were many 50-50 phases today when their (Zimbabwe) attackers were able to get away and cause us problems.

“Certainly that should be credit to talented players like Knowledge Musona and the others so on our end it’s something we have to look at. I think they are in the right track and have a bright future.

The former US coach also showered praise on the three-goal hero Salah, who single handled destroyed the Warriors.

“It was a good all round effort on our part and we feel good our creating some chances. Mohamed Salah had a great match scoring three goals but the contributions came from all parts of the field,” he said.

 “I think specifically Salah had some good moments and he managed to take advantage of them. Simply this was the key to the match.

“I still think there were moments when the game was 3-2 and Gomaa comes off injured. We needed to remain tight at the back and look for the fourth goal.

“We knew it was going to be a big test for us today because we expected a difficult game than Mozambique.

“We have a mission to get to the World Cup and that is what brings us together and that is the pressure that we have on our side,” added Bradley.

Warriors’ Klaus-Dieter Pagels concurred that Salah made the deference but conceded that his defence made a meal of some of the goals.

“Of course they made some mistakes we were able to capitalise on but I still feel this is a team moving in a positive direction,” Pagels said.

“But you see that’s football. Our players did well on the pitch but on the pitch our players were always far away from him (Salah).

“When he controls the ball you cannot stop him with the only exception to commit a foul because he is a really good dribbler. As coaches we trained to cover him and told the players to cover him close so that he cannot control the ball.

“The difference between some of our players and this player is that when he gets a chance he really uses it.

“Salah only got those chances after our players in defence made mistakes. In the second half we created more chances and they didn’t create any goal scoring chance.

“In the second half we created I think four or five chances we could not take. Sometimes it was just bad luck but normally I think especially here it was Cuthbert (Malajila) but if it was Salah he would have used it.

“If Knowledge had got those chances he would have used them but it was bad luck. The goalkeeper also made two good saves and he did very well.   

“They did well in the second half especially Ocean Mushure on the left he did very well. He played according to our unlike the first half were he was very stiff,” added Pagels. - Godknows Matarutse


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