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THE Warriors technical team want their men to play with more aggression in their bid to overturn their first leg deficit when they host Tanzania in a 2015 Nations Cup first round qualifier at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday. Zimbabwe are carrying a 1-0 deficit they suffered at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam two weeks ago, having fallen to a 13th minute strike by Taifa Stars forward John Bocco.

The Warriors had a bad day in the office in that encounter but their assistant coach Callisto Pasuwa, said the coaches were demanding a reaction and believe they can recover from that setback and turn on the power over the East Africans at home.

But in order to achieve that feat, in which they need to win by a two-goal margin, Pasuwa said the Warriors would have to step up their act and be more aggressive in their approach.

The Warriors have had time to reflect on their showing and also work on the weaknesses they detected in the first leg and Pasuwa believes the loss was more to do with what his team “didn’t do right rather than a Tanzania side that was exceptional”.

“Just like we do with all the games we play, we have had time to review the game and, of course, we took note of the grey areas so that we try to rectify our mistakes.

“I think we were not aggressive enough for such a game and we did not have enough co-ordination between the midfield and the attack, there are some gaps that we left and Tanzania exploited those gaps,” Pasuwa said.

The Warriors also lacked the numbers going forward and in the end they did not cause enough problems for both Taifa Stars goalkeeper Deogratius Munisi and his defenders as they did not have enough men in the final third.

It was not surprising then that the senior team had a handful of shots on target, something that they would have to change in order to get the goals they need to see off the Taifa Stars in Harare on Sunday.

Pasuwa and his boss Ian Gorowa, who expressed concern with the overall conditioning of their players in the first leg, also look set to overhaul the midfield that did duty in Dar es Salaam following the arrival of Belgium-based Ovidy Karuru, Denver Mukamba of Biest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs’ Willard Katsande.

But it is not just in aggression that the Warriors, whose conditioning Gorowa has said needs to be improved, where the hosts need to step up a gear as Pasuwa also noted that they had given the Taifa Stars too much room to manoeuvre.

“We gave them too much unnecessary room to even start their build-ups from the back and even the goal they scored, we didn’t concentrate enough and we left them with the space they did not deserve . . . this time around we have to ensure we press them hard and we should not allow them to play from the back,” Pasuwa said.

Pasuwa said he had observed that the Taifa Stars’ lengthy training camp had helped them to play with cohesion.

“They were in a long camp before we played them and while we broke camp after our return from Dar es Salaam, they went straight back into camp and you can see that they are a serious lot who deserve to be respected but we have a job to do at home and if we can improve on our grey areas we will be fine.

“I also hope that we do not continue to suffer any setbacks with injuries or withdrawals because time is not on our side,” Pasuwa said.

As the Warriors stepped up their act on Tuesday with all but one of the players — striker Edward Sadomba — having joined camp, the Taifa Stars were taking on Malawi in a friendly international in Dar Es Salaam which the hosts won by another 1-0 margin.

According to reports from Dar es Salaam, a 36th minute strike by their stand-in captain and midfielder Amri Kiemba settled the game and gave the Taifa Stars a confidence booster ahead of their expected arrival in Harare tomorrow.

Malawi and Tanzania had played a goalless draw in another friendly in Mbeya three weeks ago and while the Taifa Stars were warming up for their Harare battle, the Flames were using it to fine-tune their own Nations Cup qualifier against Chad in Ndjamena.

In that friendly Taifa Stars Dutch coach Mart Nooji, was without the services of their foreign based trio — talisman Mbwana Samata and winger Thomas Ulimwengu of TP Mazembe as well as Mwinyi Kazimuto who plies his trade in Qatar.

But the Warriors are not likely to read too much into what the Taifa Stars have been doing ahead of Sunday’s match with Pasuwa insisting they just need to find both their rhythm and rang again.

Although they will be in search of goals, the Warriors are also unlikely to throw caution to the wind and leave gaps which the Taifa Stars could exploit to secure an away goal that could make life even more difficult for the costs.

However, veteran goalkeeper Washington Arubi believes once the Warriors get a breakthrough and calm their nerves, they could get more goals.

Arubi, who is now vice-captain in the current squad, watched the first leg from the bench but reckoned that the task which the Warriors face on Sunday is not insurmountable.

“I think all we need is to just get that first goal, which will take the pressure off us and thereafter we can even score more goals.

“They just made full use of home aantage but we can also do the same here and I think we have the capacity to turn things around on Sunday. I hope we can get an early goal and after that it would be much easier,” Arubi said.

Source : The Herald

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