WARRIORS coach Zdravko “Loga” Logarušić is priming his team to play a high intensity game at home on Monday as they seek to atone for their 3-1 humiliation at the hands of Algeria in an Africa Cup of Nations Group H qualifier in Algiers on Thursday.
BY HENRY MHARA IN ALGIERS
Loga observed that his team gave their opponents too much space and also gave away silly goals while they failed to take their own chances.
While acknowledging that the team did not enjoy the best of preparations mainly due to travel challenges emanating from the COVID-19 restrictions, he said his team was optimistic of turning the tables on their opponents on Monday.
Zimbabwe are now under pressure from third-placed Zambia who won against Botswana and moved to within a point of second-placed Warriors who have four points from three matches.
Algeria, who stretched their unbeaten run to 21 games, retained a perfect record with three wins in as many matches in the group.
The Monday match is a must-win for the Warriors if they are to, at least, stay in second position and within touching distance of the leaders.
“I am very optimistic that we will get a result in Harare. You saw when we changed the system in the second half, it worked very well and we were pegging them back,” he said. “That’s the same intensity we need to apply when we host them in Harare. All I can say is at the moment is we are going to put the shift on and try to win at all costs. I will not have much time to talk about the defeat against Algeria in Algiers. We were very naive. We conceded all the goals from mistakes and failed to take our own chances. We had to change tactics in the second half and it worked.”
He added: “We were too naive for this level of the game. But like what I have always said it all comes down to lack of proper training. We only trained as a team once on the night prior to the game. My players are also not fit due to the fact that most of them are not playing regular first team football at their respective teams. Nonetheless, I don’t have much time for post-mortem. Instead we have to play good football and get a result on Monday at the National Sports Stadium. Definitely we gave Algeria too much respect and we need to change that when we play them again in Harare.”
The goals that Zimbabwe conceded in the Algiers clash could have been avoided especially the first one where goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze made another howler — punching the ball straight onto the opposition striker’s feet.
“The problem is that we gave them goals, which is a challenge. If we can play and avoid giving our opponents goals then we stand a good chance of beating Algeria on Monday.
“Our team needs to settle down and find the composure in front of goal. I think we have capable players who can weave chances for us to score,” the Warriors gaffer said.