Duarte: I don’t understand our immaturity

Duarte: I don’t understand our immaturity
Paulo Duarte, coach of Togo

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 01, 2022. 11:00

Togo national team coach Paulo Duarte has expressed annoyance at his team’s immaturity after the recent international break.

The Sparrowhawks played two friendlies in late September, suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Ivory Coast and a 2-2 draw with Equatorial Guinea.

The latter result was particularly frustrating for Duarte, as his team found themselves 2-0 up at half time thanks to goals from David Henen and Kodjo Laba.

However, Nzalang Nacional fought back to force a draw via a brace from Federico Bikoro – first a penalty and the second a late equaliser.

“This match, we won 2-0 in the first half, but we could win 3-0, 4-0 in the first half, without really playing, it must be said, a not very pretty game,” Duarte is quoted by Africa Foot United.

He added, “Players too tired. [Fessou] Placca too tired, David [Henen] too tired, [Frederic] Ananou too tired. In the second half I went to 4-3-3. We brought in fresh players, young players. Unfortunately, we still crashed.”

The Portuguese tactician, who has been in charge of Togo since mid-2021, continued, “I still don’t understand the immaturity of our team. When we win 2-0, when we win 2-1, we are not able to break the rhythm of the game, play according to the clock, according to the result.”

Togo will return to competitive action in March 2023 when they face Burkina Faso home and away in qualifiers for the next Africa Cup of Nations.

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