4 NATIONS TOURNAMENT IN CHANGSHA: GOOD PERFORMANCES, GREAT IMPROVEMENT BUT WE NEED ANOTHER STEP
CFA hosts usually 2 friendly 4 national tournaments every year. The last tournament was held in Changsha, where Mexico, Romania and Morocco where the contenders together with us.
The preparation was quite good, without injuries, great atmosphere in the group, players who are becoming more mature. Many of our tactical concepts and way of playing were lost and forgot, normal after 6 months without training and play together.
The first game was against Mexico, a very physical team, with some good individualities, fighters as in the DNA of its people. We received 2 big slaps at beginning, 1’30” and were loosing down 2-0. Little by little we tried to play but the movement were too slow and especially we were un-able to compete. Mexico fought and competed, we watched them. One more time, one more demonstration how the level of intensity of the league, physical and mental is different from international competition. We scored a goal from kick in strategy but we hadn’t even the time to celebrate and we received the 3-1. At the 1/2 time we talked, we analyzed that without the rule number 1: COMPETE, technic and tactic have no importance. In the second half we were better, more aggressive, more fluid in the movement of attack and always very dangerous in set pieces. We scored again by corner and with power player we hit a poste at 1 minute to the end…for a draw the honestly we deserved.
The second game was against Morocco. The lost the first game vs. Romania, even if they played better, receiving 3 goals from set piece situation, for a 3-2 result that was not the exact mirror of the game. Morocco showed to have very very good individual players, very rapid and very difficult to be pressed. We started and we leaded 1-0, another goal from set piece. Then Morocco number 10, Elmesrari, a player who impressed me a lot, for his technical abilities and for his incredible speed, showed again his abilities , scoring the draw and a great 2 assist fro a 3vs.2 who ended the first half. I were satisfied of the performance of my guys, a completely different team from the first match, more aggressive, better in attack and always dangerous in set pieces. In the second half Morocco started to play in back, waiting for our mistake. They scored the 4-2 thanks to another pearl of Elmesrari and the 5-2 because of an our individual mistake. And here my surprise, the character that we lacked in many other circumstances, came out. With power player we score 2 goals, and Morocco was unable to play. We had other 2 great chances and only 2 supersaver of Moroccan keeper, denied a draw that we really deserved
3rd Game against Romania, a very very well tactically organized team (congratulations to Coach Lupu for his great job), extremely dangerous in set pieces and very strong physically with an excellent finishing. We played our best game. First Half ended 2-1 for Romania, little bit better than us, the second 1/2 we played really really well, a great pressing where Romania was often forced to kick the ball far, and a great confidence in attack, creating many chances vs. their organized defense. The games was on 3-3, we risked because we wanted to win and on a count attack we received another goal due to a stupid individual mistake; and again not lucky with 5vs.4…..
2 great performances and a better maturity reached, more confidence in our strengths and secure the the path is the correct one
- Always the 3rd game is the best of the 3, due to the fact that these players are not used to play at this rhythm, mental and physical too much different from the level of the league
- Always the second halves were better than the first 1-0 vs. Mexico, 2-2 vs. Morocco and 3-3 vs Romania, another hints that my players need to get acquainted to play international games, some silly individual mistake will disappear after become suited to this
- A better maturity and a stronger confidence that we saw in the important moment of the matches
- The set pieces, always a security, 6 goals scored in 3 matches
- We need more time together, concentrate our trainings and energy in a single period, and focus on small details, this is the way that will lead us straight to our target; without forgetting the rule n.1: COMPETE