Warriors destroy Tanzania

HARARE - Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa is not reading too much into yesterday’s 3-0 win over Tanzania in an international friendly match insisting his team still has a long way to go.

The Warriors were using the game as part of preparations for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations(Afcon) to be held in Gabon next year and goals from Knowledge Musona, Matthew Rusike and Nyasha Mushekwi ensured a convincing win for the home side.

Truly speaking, the scoreline was more convincing than the performance as the Warriors struggled to make meaningful build-ups. Infact Tanzania had excellent chances and missed while the Warriors had good chances and scored.

Even after the match, Pasuwa was the first to admit there is still a long way to go before he can declare his charges ready for tough assignments like Afcon matches.

“It was not a score-line preparation. There were a lot of things that we have wanted to assess like keeping the ball away from an opponent,” Pasuwa said after the match.

“We have wanted to see how we fare tactically but I think we are still lacking especially when we lose the ball, we seem to be taking long to get it back but generally I am happy with the boys.

“In terms of scoring we are doing well and it’s only when we lose the ball. Maybe some of the boys are forgetting to put pressure on the opponent to recover the ball.

“But I think the team is slowly coming up but again we still need some more friendly matches.

“There are still many things to improve, but the players really want to do well to follow (on from this). This victory will certainly bring a lot of confidence for the future.”

The biggest concern for Pasuwa, no doubt, will be the sloppy play in the Warriors’ back line. Yesterday Pasuwa, had to do with a makeshift center-half of Teenage Hadebe and Danny Phiri. This is despite the fact that, Pasuwa had a natural defender in Lawrence Mhlanga on the bench.

Pasuwa paraded most of his players he has been using for the Afcon qualifiers while players like Tino Kadewere, Oscar Machapa and Bruce Kangwa were introduced as second half substitutes and showed a lot of promise.

There were, however, some positives for Pasuwa especially from Netherlands-based Marvellous Nakamba who never put his foot wrong as well as his captain Willard Katsande who bossed the midfield throughout the afternoon.

The visitors started the game on the front foot keeping throwing everything at their opponents. It was, however, the Warriors who went on to score in the ninth minute when Musona coolly slotted home after being set-up by Mushekwi.

Moments later, Warriors goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva was forced to make a save from an Alias Maguri powerful header as the Taifa Stars sought an early response.  Mbwana Sammatta who was an instant threat for the Warriors each time he was in possession was also denied by Mkuruva on 27 minutes having worked his way past Warriors’ shaky defence.

The first half ended with the visitors dominating but they somehow failed to get a breakthrough. The Warriors upped their game in the second half and Rusike doubled the lead on 54 minutes when he scored a beautiful goal from the edge of the box into the top corner to give Tanzanian goalkeeper Aishi Marula no chance.

With the visitors still to settle, the Warriors got the third when Mushekwi headed home a Musona cross from the left side. Tendai Ndoro who replaced Mushekwi wasted some good scoring opportunities.

Teams

Zimbabwe: Tatanda Mkuruva, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Onismor Bhasera, Matthew Rusike, Willard Katsande, Nyasha Mushekwi, Teenage Hadebe, Knowledge Musona, Marvellous Nakamba, Kuda Mahachi, Danny Phiri,

Tanzania: Aishi Marula, Mohamed Mohamed, Andrew Chikupe, Erasto Nyoni, Himid Mkami, Shiza Yahya, Mzamiru Saidi, Mbwana Samatta, Elias Maguri, Saimon Msuva

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