BY DANIEL NHAKANISO IN CAIRO, EGYPT
Goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze has issued a public apology to the fans, his teammates and the technical team yesterday following his error-filled performance as the Warriors crashed out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals with a humiliating 4-0 thrashing against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the 30 June Stadium here on Sunday evening.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper who only started the match after first choice goalkeeper George Chigova was injured during warmup with Edmore Sibanda also sidelined by injury, was at fault for three of DR Congo’s goals.
Chipezeze initially appeared to send a defiant message to his critics in a tweet he sent out soon after the match after some fans asked him to retire from international football.
In the tweet, which has since being deleted, Chipezeze said: “Even if people criticise or judge me I have learned from these incidents. We are human and we make mistakes, but learning
from them is what makes the difference. Gutted with the performance.”
Chipezeze later posted on the same platform, this time apologising to the nation for his costly howlers.
“I am here today to again apologise for the mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused. I make this apology to my nation, my teammates and also not forgetting the
technical staff,” he said.
The Baroka FC goalkeeper’s nightmarish performance started as early as the fourth minute as his poor save from a relatively innocuous free-kick rebounded onto the crossbar and allowed
Jonathan Bolingi to score DR Congo’s first goal of the tournament.
Eight minutes before the interval Cedric Bakambu fired home a precise finish before adding his second and his side’s third from the penalty spot midway through the second half after
being brought down by Chipezeze.
Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga completed the rout 12 minutes from time with his first international goal, courtesy of another error from the hapless Chipezeze.
The Warriors came into the game aiming at getting maximum points to stand a chance of making it out of the Group A of the Afcon finals, but things did not go according to plan with their campaign ending in humiliation.
Warriors head coach Sunday Chidzambga refused to put the blame squarely on Chipezeze saying his charges did not rise up to the occasion in all departments.