‘War­riors must work hard’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ed­die Chikamhi

Zim­babwe 3 - 0 Tan­za­nia TAN­ZA­NIA coach Charles Boni­face Mk­wasa yes­ter­day said Zim­babwe should leave no stone un­turned in their prepa­ra­tions for the fi­nals of the Africa Cup of Na­tions after the War­riors had floored his side in an in­ter­na­tional friendly match at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium.

The Zimbabweans were us­ing the match to be­gin prepa­ra­tions for next year’s tour­na­ment where they have been placed in Group B along­side con­ti­nen­tal heavy­weights Sene­gal, Al­ge­ria and Tu­nisia.

War­riors tal­is­man Knowl­edge Mu­sona, Matthew Rusike and Nyasha Mushekwi gave the Af­con­bound side the con­fi­dence boost they needed with a goal each in a rare in­ter­na­tional friendly for coach Cal­listo Pa­suwa fea­tur­ing the bulk of for­eign-based pro­fes­sion­als.

Mk­wasa was impressed by the tal­ent in the hosts’ team but warned that they should not read much into their vic­tory over the Taifa Stars yes­ter­day.

The for­mer Young Africans coach felt the War­riors, who are the un­der­dogs in the Af­con group, needed to do more to achieve an up­set in Gabon.

“First of all I would like to con­grat­u­late the Zim­babwe na­tional team, they played very well. The game was good we learnt a lot from the Zimbabweans.

“They made full use of the mis­takes that we made and they won the game. They are a very good team, very ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, I salute them,” said Mk­wasa.

“Our team was a lit­tle bit weak be­cause of the prepa­ra­tion we had. So when they (Zim­babwe) go to Af­con they have to be up there be­cause they are go­ing to meet teams with a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence. But I wish them all the best at Af­con.

“They (Zim­babwe) have to work hard be­cause the teams that they are go­ing to face will be well pre­pared; they are teams with pro­fes­sion­als.”

Mk­wasa, who re­placed Dutch­man Mart Noorj in June and has been tasked to re­build the Taifa Stars, also sug­gested that Zim­babwe could come to Tan­za­nia for an­other in­ter­na­tional friendly be­fore they de­part for Gabon.

The War­riors are look­ing to en­gage Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire as part of their prepa­ra­tions for the con­ti­nen­tal foot­ball show­case.

Zim­babwe coach Pa­suwa was thrilled by the re­sult yes­ter­day after see­ing is team cre­at­ing a num­ber of chances and man­ag­ing to con­vert thrice.

The War­riors could have opened the scor­ing early in the game but the vis­i­tors goal­keeper Aishi Man­ula made a great save to deny Rusike from close range fol­low­ing a spir­ited run into the box by Marvelous Nakamba, in a move that also in­volved Kuda Ma­hachi.

Mu­sona then made no mis­take when com­ing face to face with the keeper after he was teed by Mushekwi who had jumped the high­est in the box to bring down a high ball from Onis­mor Bhasera in the ninth minute.

The Bel­gian-based for­ward coolly slot­ted the ball past the hap­less goal­keeper into the bot­tom corner. The Tan­za­ni­ans could have equalised al­most in­stantly with a header from Elias Muguri.

But War­riors goal­keeper Ta­tenda Muku­ruva pulled out a stun­ning save when he sprung from the ground to tip the ball over the cross­bar. The Dy­namos goal­keeper was again called into ser­vice when the Taifa Stars’ king­pin Mb­wana Sa­matta ben­e­fited from an er­ror by Mu­sona deep in the home team’s half. Sa­matta how­ever hur­ried his shot and Muku­ruva had it covered with a stretched leg.

Mu­sona al­most caught the vis­i­tors by sur­prise with a long-range vol­ley soon after the restart. But it was Rusike who added to the War­riors tally nine min­utes after the break when he un­leashed a ris­ing shot from just out­side the penalty box fol­low­ing an in­ter­change in­volv­ing Mu­sona and Mushekwi.

Mushekwi, who pro­vided two as­sists, added his name on the score­sheet re­act­ing to a low cross from Mu­sona on the left with a header from a tight an­gle on 57th minute.

“I think in terms of scor­ing we are do­ing good. But the prob­lem is when we lose the ball, some of the guys for­get to keep pres­sure on the ball.

“Re­mem­ber when we at­tack we lose shape so the mo­ment we lose the ball we would need to put pres­sure on the ball in or­der for the other guys to re­cover to their de­fend­ing po­si­tions. So that’s an area we need to work on again,” said Pa­suwa.

The War­riors coach gave most of his play­ers a chance to play yes­ter­day and made six changes in the sec­ond half bring­ing in Os­car Machapa, Bruce Kangwa, Cuth­bert Mala­jila, Tendai Ndoro and Khama Bil­liat who re­cently won the Caf Cham­pi­ons League with Mamelodi Sun­downs.

Full­back Os­car Machapa and Swe­den-based for­ward Tino Kadewere, who were not part of the Af­con qual­i­fiers were also given a run as sec­ond half sub­sti­tutes.

Pa­suwa also de­cided to try Danny Phiri at the cen­tre­back as he paired the for­mer Chicken Inn skip­per with Teenage Hadebe, while Lawrence Mh­langa was on the bench.

The in­jury to Elisha Muroiwa has left a hole in the po­si­tion and Pa­suwa has to be con­vinced who will part­ner Costa Nhamoinesu at the Af­con tour­na­ment.

“Re­mem­ber last time when we played Zam­bia we had Lawrence on the cen­tre­back and to­day we needed to have an­other op­tion and I think they did very well. They were com­fort­able with the ball although there was pres­sure from the sup­port­ers.

“Over­all, it’s com­ing up but we need more games to see how we play de­fen­sively or of­fen­sively. One or two more games will do in or­der for us to come up with a com­pact team,” said Pa­suwa.

Cal­listo Pa­suwa

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