That was the day I saw the Warriors missing the boat to the biennial soccer showcase to be co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
The Warriors were trained by three coaches: Belgian Tom Seintfiet and co-coaches Norman Mapeza and Madinda Ndlovu. The big match turned out to be a lifeless 0-0 draw – the inevitable consequence of abysmal organisation by the ZIFA board.
Zifa were the masters of their own downfall in Cape Verde as their Nations Cup finals dream ended in ignominious surrender after a 2-1 defeat to the Indian Ocean Islanders at the weekend.
The Warriors’ hopes of making next year’s finals were already thin even before kick-off – they needed to turn over their hosts and hope that Group A leaders Mali failed to win away to Liberia.
One of those conditions were met as Liberia grabbed a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Mali in Monrovia, but Zimbabwe had no measure of Cape Verde’s first half flourish in which they built a two-goal cushion with quick-fire goals.
Knowledge Musona's late goal only created cruel hope for Zimbabwe who will look back to the 0-0 draw with Cape Verde at the National Sports Stadium as the key result that robbed them a place in the finals.
Traditional giants Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa all missed out on the continental championship. Zimbabwe's promising team led by skipper Method Mwanjali is pondering over the consequences of failure and the right path for the future.Post published in: Sport