BY HENRY MHARA IN CAIRO, EGYPT
WARRIORS coach Sunday Chidzambga says he takes the blame for Zimbabwe’s humiliating exit from the Africa Cup of Nations, but there is no hint from the veteran gaffer that he will leave his job following a chaotic campaign that saw his team returning home without a win.
Zimbabwe were clobbered 4-0 by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the 30 June Stadium on Sunday night in their final Group A match, in a game that they needed to win to progress
to the next round of the tournament.
The embarrassing defeat followed a 1-1 draw they got against Uganda and the 1-0 defeat to hosts Egypt in the opening match of the tournament.
As a result, the team left Cairo with a whimper, with just one point to show for their efforts after arriving as potential quarter-finalists.
Inevitably, an inquest on why the team performed so horribly has begun with some calling for heads to roll.
Some want Zifa to be dissolved, while others have asked for Chidzambga to stepdown, while the extremists have demanded to have the refresh button to be pressed. They want the whole
squad to be disbanded.
And, while the campaign was rocked by problems including a player revolt over winning bonuses and allowances, and other disciplinary violations by players, Chidzambga has said he
will take the blame as the leader of the team.
But in his address to the media following the DRC defeat that sealed the Warriors fate, it appears he wants to carry on.
“I think we need to go home and rewind our performances and get the way forward. We take the blame and we have to regroup and look for the way forward,” Chidzambga said.
Against DRC, the Warriors played so ineptly that it was shocking, and they actually got away with it. The scoreline could have been a lot worse.
Goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze had a nightmare, having been picked to start just minutes before kick-off after George Chigova had picked an injury during warm up.
He was culpable for three of the four goals, including the opener which he conceded just after four minutes, thereby putting his side under pressure.
Preferring not to blame the goalkeeper Chidzambga said: “We made mistakes and conceded early. We had to chase the game and you know chasing the game against a good team like DR Congo is
difficult. We never came to the party. We had a very bad day in office.
“We didn’t play well in all departments we had to change the goalkeeper during warm up because the first choice (George Chigova) got injured. But it’s not an excuse at all. We played
badly. We conceded easy goals and it was a bad performance on our part in every department.”
The team was also ravaged by injuries, but Chidzambga said he will not use that as an excuse.