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Warriors Cosafa display riles fans

by Staff reporter
13 Jul 2021 at 09:08hrs | Views
WARRIORS' poor performance at the Cosafa Cup has riled fans, with most blasting head coach Zdravko Logarusic and his assistants for their biased selection of players and lack of technical and tactical astuteness.

Zimbabwe has played three games in the tournament, drawing 0-0 against Mozambique, sharing spoils in a 2-2 result against Malawi and losing 2-0 to Namibia on Sunday.

The defeat to Namibia, whose league is suspended due to Covid-19 just like Zimbabwe, sparked outrage among fans, who questioned Zifa's wisdom in keeping Loga, as the Croatian's statistics show under-performance. Ngqabutho Mkhwananzi said qualifying for the next Afcon finals' edition shouldn't blind Zifa to the fact that Loga has failed.

Loga has been in charge of 11 games since his appointment, managing four draws; 0-0 against Malawi in a friendly match, 2-2 with African champions Algeria in an Afcon qualifier, 0-0 against Mozambique in the Cosafa Cup and 2-2 with Malawi in Gqebehra, South Africa, last week.

He has lost six times; 3-1 to Algeria in an Afcon qualifier, 1-0 to Cameroon in the Chan opening match, followed by a 3-1 drubbing by Burkina Faso, 1-0 loss to Mali, 2-0 to Zambia (Afcon qualifiers) and Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Namibia in the Cosafa Cup. Loga's only victory was a 1-0 win over Botswana in an Afcon qualifier that secured Zimbabwe a ticket to the next finals.

"Loga has failed and Zifa should just do the honourable thing and fire the guy. Look, all the success that Zimbabwe has enjoyed in qualifying for the Afcon, Chan and even lifting the Cosafa Cup has been the work of local coaches. The question is why is Zifa wasting resources by employing this clueless coach instead of having a local guy?" said Mkhwananzi. Mabutho Gumede took a swipe at the national team's assistant coaches.

"Loga has demonstrated that he is a failure at Cosafa and the people who have made sure that Loga fails are his assistants Lloyd Chitembwe and Tonderai Ndiraya, who know the local players, but still select players from their teams or area instead of getting deserving players. At times we're left wondering if these guys are dealers who want to market their players at the expense of the national team," said Gumede.

"We heard Chitembwe doesn't see eye-to-eye with Nqobizitha Masuku yet the player was an integral part of the Chan qualifiers' squad that was coached by Joey Antipas. Xolani Ndlovu of Chicken Inn was left out, why? Are we saying good players are those with links to certain managers? We heard that some are left out because they don't belong to certain stables and that is killing our football. We demand cleansing in the Warriors' technical set-up," said Gumede.

Commenting on Loga celebrating leading Zimbabwe to the Afcon finals, Farai Chivorise said: "Antipas did all the work, laying a strong foundation for the Warriors. Why was he fired? To us as supporters, Antipas could have been a victim of refusing to take orders from certain quarters over selection of players and now we are paying dearly for the mistake made by Zifa."

Antipas laid a firm groundwork for the Afcon 2021 campaign, contributing four out of the eight points that saw Zimbabwe qualifying with ease for the continental showpiece. In November 2019, Zimbabwe under Antipas started off sluggishly with a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Botswana but quickly picked up in the second match when they beat Zambia 2-1 in Lusaka, courtesy of a Khama Billiat double. Antipas' knack for straight talk might be the reason he was replaced by Loga for the Warriors' job as the Chicken Inn gaffer had expressed displeasure at the shambolic preparations by Zifa for the Botswana tie.

Antipas wasn't amused that in the build-up to the Botswana tie, he only had a day with the players and they went on to struggle for a point against the Zebras, who many had considered to be minnows taking into account the vast talent at the Warriors' disposal.

After the disappointing show against Botswana, Antipas had three days to get his side ready for Zambia, and on the fourth day they shocked Chipolopolo in their own backyard, which was the turning point for the Warriors' Afcon campaign.

Milton Chinyamuchiko said: "It's not too late for Zifa to rectify the mistake it made and get rid of Loga. If this guy and his assistants lead us at the Afcon, I bet my last dollar, the Warriors will have one of their worst performances."

Source - chronicle

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