WARRIORS’ players insist that a place at the African Nations Championships (Chan) football finals in South Africa next year remains within their grasp despite the goalless draw against Zambia on Sunday.
REPORT BY HENRY MHARA
Their failure to score at home last Sunday means that Zimbabwe will need at least a scoring draw in the decisive return leg set for Levy Mwanawasa Stadium this weekend to qualify.
Or, the Ian Gorowa coached side will have to record a landmark victory away from home.
The later route, though pretty much possible, it appears very daunting considering that Zambia has a solid record at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Speaking to NewsDay Sport at Gwanzura Stadium yesterday where the team had regrouped, the Warriors players said they are well aware of the huge task ahead of them but are confident that they can overcome it.
“The result is fair for us because we can go there and get a scoring draw and qualify for the finals. It’s still game on and the two teams have an equal chance,” said Devon Chafa.
Peter “Rio” Moyo said: “It was very unfortunate that we could not score but I think we played well. We could not utilise the chances we created, but I have no doubt in my mind that we will get a good result in Zambia and qualify,” said Rio.
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On his slow start on Sunday, Moyo said: “It’s usually like that because a player needs time to settle in the game, read the opponents and try to expose their weakness.”
However, the biggest letdown by the Warriors was once again the attacking department with the striking pair of Nelson Maziwisa and Tendai Ndoro failing to exploit the opportunities that came their way.
Maziwisa said: “You need a bit of luck sometimes to get a goal but we still have a good chance. We have not done well at home and I am hoping that we will be as efficient as the last time we played away from home. I’m confident we will get a goal in Zambia.”
The last time the Warriors played away was in Mauritius where they won 3-0.
At the back, the Warriors were, at most solid, with central defender Erick Chipeta firm but Patson Jaure was nervy until late into the match.
Right-back Hardlife Zvirekwi was comfortable but it was the performance of left-back Blessing Chimwamuchere which worried many.
The Triangle man looked jittery in possession and was guilty of giving away possession numerous times.
Highlanders left-back Bruce Kangwa has already been called into camp, an indication that Gorowa was not amused by Chimwamuchere’s performance.
“We just have to avoid conceding a goal in the first 20 minutes and we will be home and dry. That will definitely put them under pressure and we will capitalise on that,” said Jaure.