Wednesday Jan 25, 2023. 13:15
Mali coach Diane Nouhoum has expressed his disappointment at exiting the 2022 African Nations Championships (CHAN) following a 1-0 defeat to Mauritania on Tuesday.
The Eagles needed victory against Lions of Chinguetti in Oran after being held to a 3-3 draw by Angola in their tournament opener on January 16.
Nouhoum’s side bossed proceedings in the first half at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium but found themselves on the back foot when Mamadou Sy opened the scoring in the 53rd minute.
Nouhoum acknowledged the momentum shifted after the goal but felt that Mauritania were there for the taking had his players maintained their focus and their composure inside the box.
“We are quite disappointed. We really wanted to win this game. This is what football is about. Football is in the details and that is how we lost the game,” he said in the post-match press conference.
“Mauritania is not a bad team. I have seen what they have been able to do but based on this game, I do not think that they were the better team but that we lost the game in the details.
“In the first half, we had the control of the ball but in the second half, at a certain point, we lost focus. We started playing backwards instead of going forward.
“We had three opportunities where we could have scored but things are not easy in football. Players need to understand that this is a different level. You do not get as many opportunities as you want. Mauritania had an opportunity and they seized it.”