National football team assistant coach Peter Ndlovu has said he will use his experience as a former blazing striker to sharpen the blunt Warriors strikers after a tale of missed opportunities against Mozambique in a Group G 2014 World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
The team drew 0-0 against the hosts in a match they could have easily won had it not been a monumental miss by midfielder Ovidy Karuru who had a forgettable day in office by his standards.
Karuru had the greatest opportunity to steal the game for the visitors in the first half, but a shocking decision to square the ball to fellow attacker Knowledge Musona instead of pulling the trigger cost the Rahman Gumbo-coached side three valuable points that could have given the side a glimmer of hope to their campaign for a place in the finals to be held in Brazil.
With group leaders Egypt winning 3-2 away to Guinea in another encounter, the Warriors’ chances of qualifying for the global finals appear to be a pipe dream and Gumbo was the first to admit that after the match played at the 42 000-seater Estadio Nacional de Zimpeto on the outskirts of Maputo.
“We still have a chance to progress, but after collecting one point from a possible six it will be difficult. I’m disappointed that my team is creating chances, but failing to score. It’s frustrating, but we have to soldier on.
“I also blame the so-called managers of these players who confuse them when they are in camp. I wonder what they manage because the level of fitness of some of the players is low. They are just out to make money when they should be looking after the players,” said the former Highlanders gaffer.
His assistant Ndlovu was concerned at the rate at which the strikers failed to put away gilt edged chances ahead of the 2013 African Cup of Nations first round, second leg match against Burundi on Sunday.
The Warriors trail the Burundians 2-1 and need a win to stay in contention for the tournament which will be hosted by South Africa.
This will be Zimbabwe’s biggest chance as a win on Sunday will leave them with one hurdle to clear to reach the finals.
“To be honest, the strikers were a big letdown in that match and I have taken it upon myself to train them. My main task as we build up to the Burundi game is to work with the strikers. I will talk to them so that we find a solution because the good thing is that we are creating chances,” said the legendary former Warriors striker.
The team arrived in the country last night after travelling via Johannesburg, South Africa and will immediately get down to serious business for the Burundi clash.
Meanwhile, head of travelling supporters Tendai “Bans” Zhakata was arrested by Mozambican police after the Friends of the Warriors — national team supporters — numbering about 40, drank beverages including alcohol at the same hotel the Warriors stayed and failed to settle the bill.
They accrued a $1 530 bill.
He was only released after the intervention of the Zimbabwean embassy.
The same fans complained of hunger after the game and were bailed out by Mbada Diamonds Holdings who bought them food.