THE senior national soccer team crashed out of the Chan 2016 tournament last Saturday after succumbing to a second successive defeat at the hands of bogey side, Mali. This was after Kallisto Pasuwa’s men fell to neighbours Zambia by an identical score line in their first Group D fixture.
We look at some reasons for the early exit and fans point out what they think led to the Warriors’ crumbling deep in Rwanda.
After the firing and subsequent rehiring of Kallisto Pasuwa the Warriors preparations improved somewhat with players getting their dues. However, the lack of proper friendlies in the build-up to Chan 2016 was always a cause for concern. That was a situation that greatly concerned Pasuwa. The Warriors didn’t have any friendly match to try out combinations and allow the team to gel despite approaches from Cameroon and other national teams. Zifa should take the blame on that one.
In both games against Zambia and Mali the Warriors had better scoring chances but failed to bury their chances. The strike force got into great positions only to lose out through lack of precision and indecision. Edmore Chirambadare, Knox Mutizwa, Rodreck Mutuma, William Manondo and Francesco Zekumbawire all fell short when it mattered most.
Pasuwa’s tactical shortcomings
To be fair there was a great improvement in the Warriors display against Mali after a poor display against Zambia. Pasuwa got a number of calls wrong in the first game.
Ronald Chitiyo seemed to be played out of position, the striking partnership of Mutizwa and Francesco failed to click while the team lacked creativity in the critical midfield department. Changes were made in the second game leading to improvements but still the squad fell short. The decision to bring in 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League top goal scorer, Mutizwa, late into the game (against Mali) was also questionable.
Lack of quality
When compared to the class of 2014 which reached the semi-finals stage the current crop of locally based players lacked in quality. The indecision and lack of technique showed upfront.
A lack of basic ball control throughout the squad was concerning. Too many times players failed to get their first touch, something that’s simply unacceptable at this level.
“Mediocrity cost us. You can’t blame the coach. The team had proper structure. We did not have quality legs. No individual brilliance. Two players had a one on one with the goalkeeper and they all blew away the chances. We conceded a typical goal that was scored by Zambia. Poor defence. I also blame our league. How come we still have players that can’t control a ball worse they can’t shoot at goal. BLACK MARKET”
“We didn’t score in two games and we conceded two identical goals in two matches. What was the coach teaching them at training? You can’t afford to repeat the same mistake at this level.
Why was Knox (Mutizwa) kept that long on the bench? Remember we once drew with Comoros. Pasuwa out ASAP , he failed on the African Safari with Dynamos so he just proved his quality there.”
“Strikers. No wonder why top goal scorer cannot score 15 goals in 30 games. Moses Chunga once scored 46 goals in 30 games. Pasuwa is only a coach. He cannot score goals for us.”
“Pasuwa and the technical team. Why change the goalkeeper; why change strikers from the first game; there was no midfield at all. Nqobizitha (Masuku) was never in the game but he removes Chitiyo. Even Mutuma was showing good movements! Sorry Zim! Chiyangwa has at least got the money for coach and the boys!”
“First l blame Zifa because they failed to provide even one friendly match. l also blame Sir Pasuwa for wrong selection.”
Innocent Incyee Shumba
“The strikers, if you see the chances we missed poor striking force when they faced the goal they had poor shots
.Poor performance from Manondo (William),Francisco (Zvekumbawire) and this Edmore (Chirambadare) was too stylish in the 18-yard box.”