Traditionally in African football, teams that qualify win all their home games and lose narrowly away from home or force a draw and for Zimbabwe, the Warriors now have a mountain to climb after losing their home game against Guinea.
A 25th minute goal from Ibrahim Traore left the Warriors counting the costs of their loss as the team is now in third position just ahead of bottom placed Mozambique on goal difference.
Egypt, who beat Mozambique 2-0 on Saturday,lead the group with the National Elephants of Guinea in second place.
It was also not the best of days for coachRahman Gumbo who was pelted by missiles after the game as the fans were not happy with his team selection.
Even the Vice President of the Zimbabwe Football Association,NdumisoGumede, was nearly manhandled by unruly fans while Zifa board member for development, Benedict Moyo had to be escorted out of the stadium by security personnel as fans bayed for his blood.
The two were accused of having been instrumental in the appointment of Gumbo, with the fans in favour of the suspended Norman Mapeza. With the result seemingly looking in favour of Guinea, the fans started chanting derogatory remarks against Gumbo and singing in favour of Mapeza.
Mapeza was suspended for his involvement in the Asiagate in which the Warriors are alleged to have been paid to lose matches to lowly ranked football nations. Although Mapeza did not travel to Asia, his Warriors team to the East and Central Africa Challenge Cup in 2009 was alleged to also have been paid to lose matches.
Gumbo, though, was just unfortunate as his team dominated the match against Guinea but missed chances by his trusted striker, Knowledge Musona, and Dynamos’ TakesureChinyama left the Warriors counting the costs of those chances.
The Warriors this weekend travel to Mozambique and another loss will not do good to the team’s reputation as Mozambique are rated the weakest team in the four country group.
After Mozambique, Zimbabwe will play Egypt in the World Cup, that match coming in March next year, well after the Africa Cup of Nations finals to be held in South Africa in January.
But first, the Warriors will have to contend with their Africa Cup of Nations assignment against Burundi, that coming on 17 June at the National Sports Stadium.
A crowd of about 40 000 attended the Warriors’ match against Guinea but that was not enough to inspire the Warriors to victory.
For Gumbo, it is now back to the drawing board to map out another strategy for the rigours ahead.Post published in: Football