BLACK WEEKEND FOR ZIM
24 July 2017
. . . Warriors out of CHAN 2018
. . . Under-19s lose to Windies
. . . Under-17s lose Cosafa opener
ZIMBABWE will not be part of the CHAN finals for the first time since the tournament started after defeat to Namibia at National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa said the many changes made to the team that won Cosafa did not help the situation, managing only a 1-0 win that forced the game into penalties.
Namibia had taken a 1-0 lead in the first leg and Prince Dube’s strike leveled the aggregate score line.
The visitors then won 5-4 on penalties after goalie Herbert Rusawo had his penalty saved.
“We played reasonably well talking into consideration that it is a new team. We had only two guys in the starting line-up who played at the Cosafa tournament.
“We were missing a couple of players. Ocean Mushure is injured. Gerald Takwara is not feeling well and Talent Chawapiwa went away to his new home.
“We were forced to make many changes. Also we had less time to prepare for this tournament. The only time we had with the full squad was on a Friday,” Chidzambwa said.
He added: “So in these tournaments you need a bit of time to prepare. I think our counterparts were in camp since they left the Cosafa tournament.
“However in today’s game we were a bit unlucky. As a new team we defended very well and we should have fought to find the second goal. But otherwise the team played well and I’m pleased with their performance.”
On his future with the Warriors, he said: “At the moment I’m employed by ZPC and I have a running contract and I wouldn’t want to talk about that.”
Namibian coach Ricardo Mannetti said they expected a tough game.
“I said we expected Zimbabwe to come at us the same way they did in Namibia. And I think we were prepared for it and also created a couple of chances on the counter.
“All in all, after they got the goal, I just told the players not to lose their heads. We still had a chance and it paid off at the end of the day,” he said.
Namibia’s national team was in camp for a longer period.
“We have been training for the past three months because of our domestic situation. So, three months of hardwork is beginning to pay-off. Back home we have not been having the league so we just had to take the players and put them in game, feed them and get them mentally prepared and all that.
“It was very tough for us for the past one year and half. About 80 percent of them have not been playing and the only matches we got as a country was at the Cosafa where some played one or two matches. So for most of them they have not been playing football for over a year.”
Mannetti believes they have done well given the resources at their disposal.
“We are not a big association like some of the power houses in Africa but we make do with what we have. So it wasn’t like there was a massive investment made. There were tough times.
“I think the Zimbabwean team was better than us. Technically they have a better team. They have more depth than us. In this situation I find myself fortunate and I’m very proud of this achievement, beating a powerhouse like Zimbabwe.
“They were better prepared than us because they have a league running; they even dropped some players that were at Cosafa to bring in some CAPS United players that were playing in the CAF Champions league.
“We do not have a club playing in the champions league for that matter. So Zimbabwe, individually and as a team they are better than Namibia.
“But when you take it on the day, Namibia wanted it more through-out the two legs even though we were playing against a stronger team than us,” said the Namibian coach.