Ethiopia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Zimbabwe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
BY Kevin Mapasure
The highlight of Zimbabwe’s defeat to Ethiopia in their Group G Fifa World Cup qualifier yesterday afternoon was always going to be coach Zdravko Logarušic’s excuse for the winless record and true to form, he blamed everyone else but himself.
According to him, the referee was at fault for awarding the home side a late penalty and the players were at fault for failing to utilise earlier chances.
The Warriors succumbed to a late penalty goal by the home side after standing their ground for 90 minutes.
Logarušic has so far recorded a single win in 14 matches, yet the expatriate mentor doesn’t believe he is at fault.
Surprisingly, even his employers Zifa do not see anything wrong with his poor run and have always defended him each time he faces criticism.
Yesterday, when everyone expected an improved show after Friday’s lifeless draw against South Africa, the Warriors showed little conviction and in the end came out with nothing.
All said in this international window, the Warriors are the only team in their pool without a win.
South Africa shot to the top of the table after they followed up their dull draw with the Warriors by collecting all three points against Ghana.
Zimbabwe are at the rock bottom, with a single point ahead of their back-to-back clashes with Ghana next month.
Logarušic claimed after the match that his side was robbed and deserved at least a point.
The Croatian is now targeting back-to-back wins against Ghana and with such comments it’s hard to suppress a chuckle, if not a giggle.
Logarušic always looks forward to the next match, he did the same after the drab draw against South Africa and after raising hopes, his Warriors came out worst in their next match.
“We have to focus on the next matches and see if we can get three points away and three points at home,” he said.
“We tried our best, we made individual mistakes and we saw wrong decisions by the referee. We were disappointed with the result and we disappointed Zimbabwean supporters. Sometimes you lose matches that you don’t deserve to lose.”
With Zimbabwe claiming just 31% of ball possession, in the end the result was just as grim.
Logarušic admitted that the game was a difficult one for his team after he had made two changes to the side that drew with South Africa.
Perfect Chikwende and Terrence Dzvukamanja came in for Tino Kadewere and Tafadzwa Rusike, but the changes hardly injected a new lease of life into the team.
Logarusic felt that Zimbabwe let themselves down by failing to take their chances.
“It was a difficult game and in the end Ethiopia scored the important goal. What is disappointing me is that we had our chances to put the game on our side earlier and a very crucial decision by the referee decided the game.”
Defender Alec Mudimu conceded a penalty after he was adjudged to have handled in the box. But according to Loga, the player contested that the incident happened inside the box and that the ball actually struck his arm.
He questioned why the referee played only a minute of the promised five minutes of added time.
Follow Kevin on Twitter@kevinmapasure