RUBAVU - Warriors left-back Ocean Mushure has rallied his teammates to quickly put the disappointment of bowing out of the African Nations Championships (Chan) tournament behind them and focus on their last Group D match, a dead rubber against Uganda tomorrow.
Battered and bruised in their quest for the Chan glory, Zimbabwe were knocked out of the tournament and are at the bottom of Group D without a point from their opening two games against Zambia and Mali after losing by identical 1-0 score line.
The Calisto Pasuwa-coached side face Uganda tomorrow hoping to save their blushes and exit the tournament with at least a set of maximum points and Mushure has urged his teammates to go for an outright win.
“It was a painful exit for us considering that we thought we had prepared well for the tournament,” Mushure said.
“I think we lacked luck. We did everything to win but maybe it was not meant for us. We were getting into scoring positions but that breakthrough was not there. In football sometimes you need luck as well.
“But we have now come to terms with reality. We now need to lift our heads up and focus on the last game against Uganda. Of course it’s now a dead-rubber but we will do everything so that we at least register a win.”
“Uganda are a side with good players and they are still in with a chance but they should not expect any favours from us. We really want to win that game for our fans back home.
“They were expecting a lot from us but we let them down. Maybe we should get comfort from the way we played. It’s not that we played badly as reflected by the results. I hope next time we will do well.”
Mushure said while their biggest let down was their failure to bury chances that came their way, they also needed to have played international matches before embarking on the battle.
“I think next time when preparing for big tournaments like this we need to play friendlies. You know, when we come to the national team we will be coming from different clubs and there is need for us to work on combinations and other things,” he added.
“And friendly matches usually help us gauge our preparations. But in this case we came here without having a single friendly encounter, it’s a learning curve sadly this time we have learnt the hard way.
Uganda still have an outside chance to qualify to the knockout stages if they beat Zimbabwe while Mali lose to Zambia in the other Group D match.
Uganda are on one point after a draw against Mali in their opening match.
Zambia top the group with six points following their 100 percent positive start to the tournament while Mali are on second with four points after a draw against Uganda and a win against Zimbabwe.