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Zavagnin positive after Montpellier friendly

25 July 2012 17:27

Sporting Kansas City assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin said their 3-0 friendly loss to Ligue 1 side Montpellier was a positive experience.

The MLS side were still level with their French counterparts until the 39th minute, when Montpellier scored via Marco Estrada, before new signing Emanuel Herrera scored a second-half brace to secure the win at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

But despite the defeat, Zavagnin - a former Kansas City Wizards midfielder - said the hitout, a mid-season one for Sporting, was a beneficial one.

"On the field in the first half particularly I think we defended well, I think we limited the chances that our opponent had on goal," he said.

"The one area I think we could have done a little bit better was once we won possession of the ball in the transitional moments, we weren't very good in keeping the ball and often left our forward as the lone man to attack against sometimes four or five guys.

"(It was) a learning lesson, there were a lot of young guys on the field tonight, we probably had in the group three or four experienced players and the rest were a group of young guys who got an absolute lesson in some of the specifics of the game.

"Overall it was a very good experience for both teams in that it prepared us both for our season ahead."

Montpellier coach Rene Girard believes the win has set his team up well for the French Super Cup, which they will contest against Lyon on Saturday.

"Yes it was a good preparation for the Trophee des Champions," Girard said.

"Kansas is playing for their championship also, we have not begun ours yet, so it was important, before the game against Lyon, to have strong opposition, so it was really interesting."

Girard was pleased to have tested some of his fringe players in what he considered the toughest game of Montpellier's pre-season so far.

"We had really good opposition," he said.

"It allowed us to look at our reserves.

"Since the beginning of the pre-season it was for sure the most intense game we played."

Montpellier forward John Utaka believes his side's formation was the key to their victory as it allowed them to control possession against the American outfit.

"We played a 4-3-3, so when we lost the ball we fall back and make it difficult for the opposition," Utaka said.

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