Rest Mutore, Sports Reporter
WARRIORS debutant Tanaka Chinyahara believes there is room for improvement after Zimbabwe’s poor show in a goalless draw against Malawi at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre on Sunday.
Zdravko Logarusic’s men were nowhere near convincing as they played their first match in close to a year, owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
Marvelous Nakamba (right)
Chinyahara, who donned national colours for the first time, said the team has potential to create deadly combinations ahead of the crucial back-to-back Afcon qualifiers against Algeria next month.
“Well some might want to say the display was not so convincing. I think I would blame it on match fitness and the time most players had gone without playing together.
“I think we did well, the guys played well and personally I was happy especially how I clicked with the likes of Tafadzwa Rusike, Marvelous Nakamba and Khama Billiat in midfield. I am happy with the performance given the circumstances.
“But above all, the most important thing is there room for improvement going forward,” said Chinyahara.
Tafadzwa Rusike (right)
The Red Arrows forward was given the nod by Logarusic as he took charge of the national team for the first time since his appointment in February.
The Croat gave the armband to Kham Billiat in a team that also saw Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba, Turkey-based Teenage Hadebe and Moldovia-based Alec Mudimu starting.
“It was my debut and I am delighted with my contribution, looking forward to more games.
“It’s a great feeling that the coach believed in me and throw me into the fray with the other tried and tested guys,” said Chinyahara.
Goalkeeper Talbert Shumba, McClive Phiri, Divine Lunga, Gilroy Chimwemwe, Tafadzwa Rusike and Charlton Mashumba completed the starting team.
Zimbabwe struggled to create goal-scoring opportunities with the only chance falling on Mashumba on the stroke of half time but his weak shot cause no harm to the hosts’ goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe.
Malawi got two clear cut chances in the first half but failed to capitalise, with one their star players Gabadinho Mhango among the culprits.
Shumba was called into action in the second half as he denied the Flames on two occasions – the other from close range.
Logarusic made his first change at the beginning of the second half, bringing on Evans Katema and King Nadolo for Mashumba and Phiri respectively.
Some of the players who got runs include Wellington Taderera, who replaced Chinyahara while Mudimu made way for Jimmy Dzingai.
Ian Nekati was among the local-based players to play after he came replacing Billiat.
The coach missed a number of key players as they failed to travel due to various reasons.
Strikers Macauley Bonne, Tino Kadewere and captain Knowledge Musona were all drafted into the initial squad but failed to travel.
Goalkeepers Tatenda Mkuruva and Martin Mapisa and midfielder Marshal Munetsi are among the players Logarusic wanted to form the squad.
Some of the players, the coach wanted to assess include Kundai Benyu, Victor Kamhuka, Tendai Jirira and Jordan Zemura and all had to be dropped.
Zimbabwe face Algeria in back-to-back Afcon qualifiers next month.