Bartlett writes off Young Warriors

HARARE - South Africa’s Under-23 assistant coach Shaun Bartlett is certain his side will finish off Zimbabwe in the second leg of the African Under-23 Championships qualifier at home in two weeks’ time.

The South Africans outplayed the Young Warriors in the first leg at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday but failed to convert their dominance into goals as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Impressive Mamelodi Sundowns winger and man-of-the-match Keagan Dolly gave the visitors a deserved lead midway through the second half, before Zimbabwe struck back late on through a Walter Musona strike from the penalty to salvage the draw.

On the balance of play, the visitors deserved more than the one goal they scored but were let down by some poor finishing by their strikers.

The Zimbabwe backline had to be at their best to restrict the visitors from running away with the tie in the first leg.

And the former Bafana Bafana striker Bartlett, who was recently roped in by the South African Football Association to be Owen da Gama’s assistant, is confident they will be too strong for the Young Warriors at home.

“We wanted a positive result which was a win but we knew it would not be easy because Zimbabwe is a very good team,” he said.

“I felt we made it difficult for them over the 90 minutes and in my opinion we were the better team. We were very unfortunate not to get a win but at the same time Zimbabwe came back in the second half strongly.

“We need to quickly start preparing for the second leg. We will need to start a lot quicker and get an early goal. I think playing at home will also help us and I think the goal that we got here is very important.

“We now need to analyse our weaknesses and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes while exploiting Zimbabwe’s weaknesses at the same time.”

South Africa need a goalless draw or an outright win to qualify for the African Under-23 Championships to be held in Dakar, Senegal from November 28 to December 15 this year.

The top three teams in Senegal will qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

However, South Africa coach da Gama had no kind words for the Zimbabwe players, who he claimed tried to use dirty tricks just before the game to intimidate his players.

“One thing I can say is when they come to South Africa we are going to treat them as professionals unlike the way we were treated here,” he said.

“They were banging on the doors, hitting the doors trying to intimidate us.

“I think that is not professional. But we always say when they come to South Africa we will treat them like professionals and we will go onto the field and the Almighty will decide who goes through.”

The South African coach also slammed the performance of some of the Young Warriors’ star players.

“Your star player; Kuda Mahachi zero out of 10. The captain (Wisdom Mutasa) minus one; the coach had to substitute him.

“All credit must go to these boys, they played very well. There are some players that are clubless and we are playing against a team with most players in the middle of their season,” said Da Gama.


Comments (7)

As coach pasuwa said the next game is a new game,we are pull through if we have more players for coach to choose from and enough time to train

markos - 21 July 2015

As coach pasuwa said the next game is a new game,we are going to pull through if we have more players for coach to choose from and enough time to train

markos - 21 July 2015

As coach pasuwa said the next game is a new game,we are pull through if we have more players for coach to choose from and enough time to train

markos - 21 July 2015

Shaun you can write off Young Warriors at your own peril. Pasuwa thrives in dominating opposition teams. And to Owen Da Gama , Mahachi and Wisedom are not the entire Young Warriors mark my words.

pablo 52 - 21 July 2015

We didn't play well yet we drew, we will play better in the 2nd leg and shut these fools up in their own back yard.

mukwerekwere - 21 July 2015

Let the gvt support sports in Zimbabwe because we are now considered the most disorganized country in the world for failing to send mighty warriors to Ivory Coast please Zimbabwe try your best dont demotivate players we are proud of being Zimbabweans don't let us down

defender - 22 July 2015

Da Gama u ar overcomplacent , be very careful dat u may lose your job after all u had promised your South Africa who you think wll give u credit after u lose to e warriors on e 2nd leg . To Bautlett your roping in didnt mac any difference to the SA team instead u pulled bac their perfomance , dnt spare a thought bt u wll be shocked

mukuruva T - 22 July 2015

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