Chigova rallies Warriors fans

HARARE - George Chigova has issued a rallying call to Zimbabwean football fans to play their part when the Warriors take on Tanzania early next month.

The Warriors are still smarting from a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Taifa Starts on Sunday in a 2015 Africa Nations Cup (Afcon) qualifier in Dar es Salaam.

Tanzania scored the only goal of the game on 14 minutes through John Bocco.

Failure to win in the second leg at home on June 1 will spell disaster for the Warriors as it will mean the end of the quest to qualify for next year’s Afcon finals in Morocco.

To qualify for the next round of qualifiers, the Warriors now need to win the second leg by a two-goal margin.

Speaking after arriving in the country yesterday from Tanzania, Chigova, who started in goal ahead of Washington Arubi, admitted that the Warriors need all the help they can get from their fans to be able to turn around Tanzania’s lead.

“From Sunday’s match, there is not much difference between us and Tanzania and I’d like to think that we played far much better despite the defeat,” Chigova told the Daily News yesterday.

“Their fans played a big role in their win as they were behind the team from start to finish and it’s now time for our fans to help us in the second leg.

“Zimbabweans should come in their large numbers for the second leg and I’m sure with their support we will be able to get the goals we need to progress.”

Chigova, however, knows that local football fans are a fickle lot and if the Warriors fail to hit top gear in the opening minutes they can easily turn against the team.

One infamous incident is the 2006 World Cup qualifier when the Warriors hosted Nigeria at the National Sports Stadium.

Fans quickly turned allegiance when the Super Eagles took an early first half lead. By the time the final whistle was blown, Austin Okocha’s every touch was greeted with large cheers from the Warriors fans as Nigeria ran out 3-0 winners.

“Our fans should be patient with the team in the second leg and not put us under unnecessary pressure during the game,” said the SuperSport United-bound goalie.

“As players we are well aware that we need an early goal to calm our nerves so we don’t need to have our fans on our backs if that early goal does not come.

“The fans should support the team from the first minute until the final whistle and I’m sure we will be able to pull through.”

The Dynamos goalkeeper is confident the Warriors have the arsenal to overcome Tanzania’s lead.

“In Tanzania, we played well and it’s just unfortunate we failed to convert the chances that came our way,” he said.

“If we create the same number of chances at home, I believe we will be able to win the match and qualify for the second round.”

Comments (1)

Makahyisa

Che Guevara - 20 May 2014

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