WARRIORS coach Ian Gorowa has warned of early celebrations following Sunday’s 3-0 away win over Mauritius in an African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifier.
FROM MICHAEL MADYIRA IN BEAU BASSIN, MAURITIUS
The Warriors turned on the heat at a waterlogged New George V Stadium in Curepipe, to hand an unforgettable start to Gorowa who had assumed the ultimate job in Zimbabwean football four days earlier.
But the gaffer has refused to get carried away by the emphatic victory, pointing out Mauritius’ minnow status as warranting nothing to celebrate.
“The result is very encouraging, but we should not blow the trumpet as yet especially having won against a side like Mauritius who are one of the weaker sides in African football,” Gorowa said.
“We still have some work to do and we have to brace for bigger challenges ahead. I cannot really say I was totally satisfied with the way my boys played because as a coach you always want improvements in your team.
“Without taking anything away from Mauritius, they are a good side which can be seen by the fact that they came back a little bit stronger in the second half where they gave us a good fight. But in terms of real football we can be able to fully assess ourselves against stronger teams.”
And that stern test is looming in another battle of the Zambezi in the final qualification round following Zambia’s one-all draw with Botswana in Gaborone on the same day and just like Zimbabwe, Chipolopolo return home with the advantage of away goals. Nelson Mazivisa struck a brace to take his Warriors tally to three goals while Simba Sithole weighed in with another one in a match in which Gorowa later tuned into a defensive mode by pulling out offensive captain Masimba Mambare for defender Felix Chindungwe to seal off the Zimbabwe goal area.
Looking to craft the Warriors into an indomitable side in African football, Gorowa has conceded he has a lot to do in bringing in his own methods in a side that was beginning to warm up to former coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels’ slick passing game.
Zimbabwe overcame the odds staked against them on a rain-soaked Sunday afternoon, but still showed they are battling to dump Pagels’ tiki taka philosophy.
“The pitch and weather conditions did not favour us, but we managed to put that behind us. You could see that in certain situations the pitch was not allowing the ball to flow, but the guys still wanted to knock it around and they would overdo it sometimes,” Gorowa said.
“But that does not mean they are not responding well to my type of play. I am encouraged that they are trying their best to implement what we have been working on considering we also did not have much time to train. Their attitude is very good.”
Skipper Mambare was delighted by the great start.
“I think we are responding well to the coach’s methods. It is a process and we need time to gel. As players we believe in him and we also believe in each other. We hope to continue like this and now we have a job to finish Mauritius in the second leg and continue working hard towards qualification,” Mambare said.
The Warriors are expected to arrive home late today and would not break camp preparing for the return leg slated for this Sunday.