It was a difficult match, says Mazembe coach

ABU DHABI — TP Mazembe coach Lamine N’Diaye was pleased after his team got through a tough test against Mexican club Club de Futbol Pachuca in the quarter-final of the FIFA Club World Cup at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Friday night.

By James Jose

Published: Sun 12 Dec 2010, 10:39 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:56 AM

Mbenza Bedi scored the match-winner in the 21st minute, which earned them a semi-final match-up against Brazilian heavyweights SC Internacional.

“The match was very difficult. We had expected it. We started training last month. There was a lot of pressure on us. They played well and effectively. It was a rare opportunity for us to score the goal. We were down to 10 men but we tried our best to hold on,” N’Diaye said after the game.

He said that the victory assumed more importance as they didn’t fare that well last year. “We have young players who have worked very hard. We made a few mistakes. But this victory is important for us. We will be physically and tactically stronger for the next game,” he said.

N’Diaye said that his side could do better in the next game. “Our aim is to develop and play better and to do a better job in the coming games. We will come up with better play in the next game. Technically, we can do better than how we played against Pachuca,” said N’Diaye.

About the next game against SC Internacional, he said: “We won because of the bravery of our players. Tactically, we have to develop better in four days time. We will exert all our efforts for the next game. Our aim is to concentrate on controlling the game and hold onto possession. Ball possession is very important against a team like SC Internacional.”

He added: “This match will help us to develop our game as well as from the physical aspect, for the next game. When you have a bigger stage, we look at that. We look for a higher level and more success. Internacional are a strong team and it will be a good test for us.”

N’Diaye was pretty happy with the format where they have had to play a quarter-final while Inter Milan and SC Internacional are directly in the semi-final. “The format is such and we are happy and pleased to follow it,” he said.

The African champions were greeted by an African band at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium and he said that their presence was a huge factor in the players giving their best.

“This noise, music and dancing encourages us. It is a strong point and it will motivate our players to play better,” said N’Diaye.

More news from Football