Lifeless Warriors in dull draw

Eddie Chikamhi |  1 year ago | sport

Zimbabwe …………………….. 0

Mozambique …………………. 0

LIFELESS, hopeless, directionless, clueless, toothless, careless, glamourless, structureless, harmless.

Each of these words will provide a true description of the Warriors’ poor show, as they got their COSAFA Cup campaign underway, in Port Elizabeth yesterday.

For long periods of this match, which fittingly didn’t produce a goal, it resembled just a pre-season training game, for two lower league sides.

There will be those who will argue, with justification, expectation should be low, given many of the Warriors haven’t been featuring, in competitive matches, for some time.

But, the first round of the Chibuku Super Cup games, which featured some of these players, produced some thrilling matches, spiced by some fine individual performances.

Take, for instance, Bruno Mutigo’s super show at Mandava last month when he rose from the bench and, with just two swings of his right foot, powered himself into the headlines.

In those few minutes, in which his two excellent goals helped Ngezi Platinum overturn the deficit and beat FC Platinum 2-1, Mutigo provided more highlights, as a person, than the entire Warriors did, as a team, yesterday.

The same can be said of Denver Mukamba’s swift change of direction, sudden burst of pace, a cheeky body swerve and a sublime goal, to help Ngezi Platinum beat Triangle, in the same competition.

Teenage Dynamos winger, Bill Antonio, running rings around opponents, in his first dance in the top-flight league, has produced more highlights, than the poor show we saw yesterday.

The lifeless show against Mozambique, at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium, in which the Warriors failed to do even the basics, of stringing together meaningful passes, left many fans fuming on social media.

There were just three shots on target, for the Warriors, from their eight shots during the game.

Coach Zdravko Logarusic has emphasised he is interested in finding out how some players can respond in such matches.

But, if this is what his team will produce, throughout the tournament, then he is unlikely to pick anything of substance, from this tour.

His record, too, does not make good reading.

The Croatian gaffer has led Zimbabwe in eight competitive matches, spread across the 2021 AFCON qualifiers, the CHAN tournament and the COSAFA Cup.

However, he has only inspired his men to just one win, and five defeats, with yesterday’s stalemate, his second draw, as Warriors coach.

If there was a flicker of light, in this drab show, then it came from veteran goalkeeper, Washington Arubi.

He has made a strong case for himself, lately, in South Africa, and yesterday he made his first start, in six years, for the Warriors, ahead of Spain-based Martin Mapisa.

And, he justified his inclusion, with some key saves, in the early stages of the game.

Loga handed chances to the likes of Yadah rightback, Lenox Mucheto, and former Young Warriors forward, Delic Murimba, who made a second half cameo.

He sent in five substitutes.

Mozambique also fielded a fringe side and there was little to separate the two teams.

Loga believes the lack of preparations affected the Warriors’ performance yesterday.

“I just have to say we had only five days’ preparation. We didn’t have league games, since November (2019), I think,” said Loga.

“There are no official games, except the Chibuku Super Cup games. Anyway, this is a good start, we didn’t lose.

‘’We had some chances, and they had some chances, I think, at the end. that’s a fair result and all of us are still in the game.’’

The coach nearly failed to lead his men in yesterday’s game.

He was deported from South Africa, when the team landed in Johannesburg on Monday, after arriving without a visa.

Mozambique thought they had broken the deadlock in the 77th minute but Ernesto’s 77th minute header was correctly ruled out for offside.

The Mambas then appealed for a penalty, in time added on, but the referee waved play on.

Zimbabwe’s finishing was poor with Brian Banda, Tatenda Tavengwa and Farawo Matare all dragging their shots off target.

Warriors skipper Ovidy Kaururu saw his header just bounce wide of the left post, late in the game, in probably his team’s only highlight.

In the other group match, Namibia beat Senegal 2-1.


Zimbabwe: W. Arubi, L. Mucheto, Q. Amini, C. Mavhurume, J. Dzingai, T. Tavengwa (M. Phiri, 80th min), B. Banda (B. Musaka, 58th min), S. Nyahwa (R. Hachiro, 80th min), B. Sarupinda (K. Nadolo, 64th min), O. Karuru, F. Matare (D. Murimba, 64th min)

Mozambique: H. Siluane, Cigano (A. Joshua, 54th min), F. Simbine, Martinho, D. Muze, A. Nhantumbo, C. Mathe (F. Macaime, 75th min), S. Nangy, N. Ernesto, E. Novela, M. Alexandre

Group B


P    W    D    L    F    A     Pts

Namibia    1      1      0     0    2     1       3

Mozambique                    1      0     1      0    0     0      1

Zimbabwe 1      0     1      0     0    0      1

Malawi       0      0    0      0     0    0     0

Senegal         1       0     0      1     1     2     0