Warriors coach Norman Mapeza has said fans must not boo, but encourage players when they make mistakes during international matches.
He was speaking after the 2-1 win over South Africa on Tuesday night where central defender Lincoln Zvasiya’s mistake in the 28th minute gifted the visitors with a goal.
Bradley Grobler scored from the resultant error, but Knowledge Musona scored twice early in the second half to give the Warriors victory.
“I think we did well. We are moving in the right direction. But like what I said before, I think our supporters should give these youngsters a chance.
“I was not happy when they started to boo Lincoln Zvasiya. He made a mistake, but it happens in football. He is still young. He has a lot to learn.
Supporters need to encourage him,” the coach said.
Zvasiya had come in for Method Mwanjali and partnered Thomas Sweswe in central defence as Mapeza seeks to increase his pool of players for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
“We need to fine-tune the defence especially in the centre half. We have been having some problems in that department, but we are working on it. It will get better by the time we start the Afcon qualifiers, I hope by then we will have a solid defence,” said Mapeza.
Musona, who has now scored in every match he has played for the national team, said: “I’m happy with the performance of the team today, it was OK. We are building a team and winning games.
We are looking forward to play more and more games like this so that we can qualify for Africa Cup of Nations 2013. The team must work hard at training, listen to the coach. Discipline is also important.”
South African national team coach Pitso Mosimane urged his Southern African counterparts to organise more friendly matches among themselves as to prepare for major tournaments.
South Africa faced problems prior to the match as they failed to do their training session at the match venue on Monday night because of faulty lights at the stadium.
When they arrived at the stadium on match day, their dressing room had no lights and had to be fixed while they used lights from the players’ mobile phones.
When asked if South Africa would accept another offer from Zimbabwe for another friendly match in future, Mosimane said, “Yes, why not, we must play. We are brothers, Zimbabwe, Zambia and all the Cosafa brothers. We need to help each other in preparations for tournaments.
“But we also need to up our game a little in terms of the lights, in terms of training and all those things. It’s fine we understand our brothers, we are in Africa so it’s OK,” said Mosimane.
Mosimane said he was satisfied with the performance from both teams. He urged Zimbabwe to keep the current team intact.
“Norman Mapeza has a very good team, quality players, very powerful on the wings. They did very well to win this match, but I think there is room for improvement. Give them a chance.
I would like to see his team in South Africa for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations so that I can meet him with my strongest side, the Mphelas (Katlego), Pienaar (Steven) and the Shabas (Siphiwe Tshabalala). But to me, Mapeza has a strong side for the future,” he added.