Heartbreak for Chakoroma
THE Sunday Chidzambwa-led technical department conspired to disappoint when they sidelined a number of key players who did the nation proud in the just-ended COSAFA contest in South Africa, a decision that backfired as the Warriors ended up succumbing to Namibia and made history all for the wrong reasons.
Zimbabwe had since the inaugural edition of the CHAN tournament in Cote d’Ivoire in 2009 consecutively qualified for the finals.
But on Sunday at National Sports Stadium, the Warriors were eliminated out of the CHAN tournament for the first time.
Zimbabwe turned on a pathetic show and suddenly became a pale shadow of that determined outfit that won the COSAFA Castle Cup.
Sakubva-born Ngezi Platinum player, Liberty Chakoroma, one of the key players who played a pivotal role in the COSAFA Castle Cup, was part of a list of players who were surprisingly sidelined against Namibia.
The former Buffaloes defensive midfielder said it pained him watching the Warriors miserably fall out of the CHAN tournament.
Chakoroma reckons that the CHAN tournament was crucial for local based players as it presented them with a platform to market their talents to better leagues across and beyond the continent.
“It was painful to watch Zimbabwe being booted out of the CHAN tournament. I cannot comment on the players selected for the assignment, but I was heartbroken.
“One thing that hurt the most is the idea that the CHAN tournament final could have been another platform for locally based players to market their talents and play in better leagues,” said the former La Sakubva player.
Pundits have asked a lot of questions that the technical department may not ever live to answer satisfactorily.
If Jimmy Tigere and Chakoroma who had a fine COSAFA tournament, playing in every minute of the competition, were good enough to travel to South Africa alongside the likes of Ovidy Karuru and Eric Chipeta, how could they turn so bad a few days later to fail to even make it on the bench among a side made of their Premiership peers?
Blessing Majarira might be playing in the Northern Region Division One League with Herentals, but the striker showed his potential when scoring in one of the two games he featured in South Africa and on current form, was he not a better option in attack that was under pressure to find goals?
Was there need to bring on Black Rhinos’ Herbert Rusawo when the goalkeeping area had never been a problem for the Warriors at the COSAFA tournament and Ngezi Platinum’s Takabva Mawaya had even started in the 6-0 thrashing of Seychelles?
Was there need to change the centre back partnership of Bruce Homora and Tigere that was so outstanding in the final against Zambia and neutralised the threat posed by Chipolopolo’s Brian Mwila and Justin Shonga?
Many more questions could be asked, but at the end of the day, the big question remains, why did we change a winning team?
Liberty Chakoroma (pictured here with his manager, James ' Hwetu' Meya) was one of the players the Warriors badly missed against Namibia at National Sports Stadium last Sunday