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ZIMBABWE’S Warriors returned home at lunch-time today with their tails between their legs after they were humbled by Tanzania in an African Cup of Nations first round, first leg encounter at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Sunday.

The defeat has left Zimbabwe with a tough task ahead of the reverse fixture and coach Ian Gorowa has appealed to the local fans to rally behind the Warriors and create an intimidating atmosphere for Tanzania when his charges play the Taifa Stars in Harare on June 2.

Barring any late changes, the match is set for the National Stadium although many neutrals believe the kind of atmosphere that Gorowa wants the fans to create can be easily achieved at the more compact Rufaro.

Gorowa, however, condemned the artificial pitch at Rufaro which has also been widely criticized for its hard surface that has attracted complaints from players.

Premiership giants Dynamos and CAPS United have abandoned use of Rufaro in preference to the National Sports Stadium where the levies for the use of the facility are cheaper than what Harare City Council charges for Rufaro.

But whichever the venue will be used Gorowa said he had noted the impact that the vocal Tanzanian supporters in the estimated 8 000 crowd had made on their team and wants the Warriors fans to do the same as Zimbabwe seek to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit and progress to the second round.

“After this defeat we can only encourage the youngsters to work harder for the second leg but we now have to also bank on home support. We are still in with a chance and if our supporters can come in numbers that will also help to make a difference but I am very positive that we will beat Tanzania in Harare and progress. I think we are very capable of doing better than we did in the first leg,” Gorowa said.

Team manager Sharrif Mussa was also not happy with the way the Warriors applied themselves in the first game in Dar es Salaam which was decided by a 13th minute goal by Tanzania striker John Bocco.

“In terms of where we left off for CHAN when you look at things like conditioning and what I have seen after a few games into the PSL season I think there is a change and our players were slow in everything and no doubt we were second best to Tanzania and the hosts were hungrier so we obviously need to work hard in the return match so that we really gel,” Mussa said.

Source : The Herald

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