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A BULLISH Ian Gorowa declared yesterday that “we will go through to the next round” even after watching his Warriors turn on the worst performance of his reign as national coach as they slumped to a shock defeat at the hands of Tanzania in a Nations Cup qualifier at the National Stadium here yesterday. Gorowa boldly declared that the Warriors would overturn the 1-0 deficit when they host the Taifa Stars in Harare in a fortnight but also acknowledged that the result had heaped pressure on their bid to progress to the second round of the qualification marathon.

“Obviously, I am disappointed with the result but not too disappointed with the performance and, maybe, if it had been 0-2 or 0-3, I would have been very disappointed,” said Gorowa.

“We just got off to a very bad start, got punished but I think we did well to come back and take control of the game but we didn’t get a goal.

“But I will say it now boldly here that we will go through to the next round. I think we are capable of doing much better than we did today.

‘We normally depend on our defence but today Danny (Phiri) was off and Milton (Ncube) was having problems with their winger although he improved in the second half and was containing him.

“I also thought that Stephen Alimenda stood out well for us but we shouldn’t have conceded a goal in the first place and we should not look for too many excuses, we just have to rectify our mistakes.’

The Warriors were simply flat, especially in the first half, in which they should count themselves lucky to have conceded just a single goal against the East Africans.

A 13th minute goal by tall Taifa Stars centre striker John Bocco handed Tanzania the aantage as they capitalised on home aantage before an estimated 8 000 fans at the giant facility.

That result means the Warriors must win by, at least, two clear goals in the return fixture and Gorowa said he had made his observations about the Taifa Stars and remains confident that they will overcome the deficit.

It took just less than a quarter of an hour for the hosts to get a breakthrough they had sought from the onset and settle their nerves when gangly striker Bocco fired home off a low cross from the right by TP Mazembe’s Thomas Ulimwengu.

Bocco, who plays for Tanzania Premiership champions Azam, had earlier in the third minute been left unmarked when he met with a high cross from Ulimwengu but on that occasion George Chigova read the move well.

Chigova retained his place between the posts despite the return into the side of South Africa-based former skipper Washington Arubi and the Dynamos goalkeeper made a couple of crucial saves to ensure that the Warriors did not concede further goals.

Some light lunch-time showers in Dar es Salaam preceded the match and ensured a cooler afternoon than the conditions which had greeted the Warriors on their arrival here the previous day.

Despite the conditions having turned cooler, the Warriors still got off to a pathetic start and were always second to the ball in the opening period in which left back Ncube was having a tough time containing Taifa Stars’ best player on show Ulimwenge.

In fact the hosts were effective on both flanks with Mrisho Ngasa also keeping Hardlife Zvirekwi busy on the right flank while skipper Partson Jaure and Eric Chipeta also had to contend with Taifa Stars talisman Mbwana Samata and Bocco.

That their first real attempt on goal came after half an hour when Hwange hardman Chipeta’s curling free-kick just went wide off the post, after deceiving goalkeeper Deogratias Munishi, spoke volumes of the Warriors’ poor start to the game.

Gorowa had signaled his intentions to seek an away result when he started with the attacking pair of Cuthbert Malajila and Tendai Ndoro but with the Warriors’ performance sterile the pair did little to trouble Munishi.

With winger Kuda Mahachi also seeing very little of the action, as did Peter Moyo, it increasingly became difficult for the Warriors to carve openings in the Taifa Stars defensive shield. Mahachi had a glorious chance to atone for a poor afternoon when he sneaked into the box unmarked on the blind side in the 55th minute but somehow blasted his effort over the bar.

Gorowa hauled off Moyo in the 57th minute and threw in his third striker Kuda Musharu but still an equaliser remained elusive and the coach’s fine record on the road was in tatters.

The Warriors, for whom Marshal Mudehwe made his debut when coming in for Ndoro seven minutes from time, ended up hurrying their efforts in the final third but by then the Taifa Stars were sensing victory and were now defending in numbers and relying on counter raids.

Taifa Stars’ Dutch coach Mart Nooji, however, refused to be too carried away with the result.

Nooji, taking charge of his first competitive game for Tanzania and only his second assignment, paid tribute to his charges but warned that they face a “tough time in Harare where the game will be decided.

“It was an open game with a lot of faults and also a lot of good things from both sides.

“So far so good for Tanzania but it is not yet over because we face a tough time in Harare where the game will now be decided. Zimbabwe is a good team and we just have to make sure we survive,” Nooji said.

Nooji had his attacking options boosted by the presence of his TP Mazembe stars and the pair of Samata and Ulimwenge did not disappoint either on a day when it was the Warriors who conspired to make life difficult for themselves in the return leg in Harare and could miss on a likely date with Mozambique who romped to a 5-0 first leg win over South Sudan yesterday.

Teams

Tanzania: D. Munishi, S. Kapombe, O. Joshua, N. Haroub, K. Yondani, F. Damayo (A. Kiemba 70th minute), M. Ngasa (H. Chanongo 76th minute), M. Kazimoto, J. Bocco (K. Mcha 85th minute), M. Samata, T. Ulimwengu.

Zimbabwe: G. Chigova, H. Zvirekwi, M. Ncube, E. Chipeta, P.Jaure, D. Phiri, S. Alimenda, P. Moyo (K. Musharu 57th minute), T. Ndoro (M. Mudehwe 83rd minute), C. Malajila, K. Mahachi.

Source : The Herald

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