Mali Coach Baye Ba claims that his team paid the heavy price for taking an early lead against the hosts in their second Group A match of the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations played at the National Heroes Stadium on Wednesday.
Abdoul Dante nodded Mali in front on 5 minutes but a capitulation followed thereafter which saw Zambia mount a historic come back in this seven goal thriller.
Man of the match Fashion Sakala and Edward Chilufya bagged a brace each with the other two goals contributed by Enock Mwepu and Emmanuel Banda.
Despite the heavy defeat Ba remains confident of a semi place saying that his team still had a chance to qualify on the final day of group matches on Saturday.
“We were over excited when we scored the first goal and within a short period we conceded three goals,” said Ba.
“For sure all the departments did not work and everything just collapsed. Nothing worked for us. It is the first time that Mali has been humiliated in this manner.
“I can say that there are some great coaches who have also gone through what we have gone through, and there are great teams in the world who have gone through what we have gone through but the most important for us is to focus on the next game,” he said.
He added that his side would settle down and reflect where the breakdown in their play may have come from.
“We will go and sit down and reflect about the game because definitely we accept everything was out of order. We could not get anything right that is something that we need to reflect on,” he
Mali now lie in at the bottom of Group A alongside Guinea with Egypt in second on two points.
Zambia top the group on six points after winning both their matches in the group.
Final group matches will be played on Saturday with Mali and Guinea heading to Ndola for their final game while leaders Zambia will maintain their fortress Heroes Stadium where they will conclude their group action against Egypt.