'We lacked experience'

WARRIORS striker Knowledge Musona lamented the team’s lack of experience after they were knocked out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in the group stages.

Zimbabwe returned from the tournament in Gabon on Wednesday after having lost 2-0 to Senegal and 4-2 to Tunisia.

Kalisto Pasuwa’s side picked up a single point in the thrilling 2-2 draw with Algeria in their opening match of the tournament.

However, it is the manner the team crumbled in the first half in both matches against Senegal and Tunisia which left many Zimbabweans disappointed.

In the loss to the Lions of Teranga, Zimbabwe conceded two soft goals in the opening 14 minutes and it was a similar script against the Carthage Eagles.

The Warriors shipped in four goals in the first half in that humiliating loss. 

“I think we lacked experience in our team and we will take it as a learning curve. All the matches that we have played we tried our best. We conceded goals from situations that we can improve on in the future,” Musona said.
Musona said they would use the lessons they picked in this tournament in future matches. 

“I don’t have much to say but I think we have learnt our lessons. We are still growing with young players in the team and I hope we will correct our mistakes in the future and be strong and be mature enough to win games in a tournament.”

On the game against Tunisia, Musona felt they made their lives difficult by conceding early goals.

“It was a tough game. We complicated things when we conceded two early goals. It is difficult to come back especially in big tournaments like this but I think we showed character by scoring two goals although it was not enough,” Musona said.

Pasuwa was also disappointed with the way his side failed to protect their goal in those early minutes but felt it was a good learning process which would help them in future matches.

“Yes, we tried our best but unfortunately we couldn’t go through to the quarter-finals and we did learn some lessons. I think in the near future with the youngsters in the team, we can do better next time,” Pasuwa said.

“It was a matter of losing concentration in the first 15 minutes. If you look at all three games, we were losing concentration in the first 15 to 20 minutes and there after the guys would play well until the last minute. If you make a mistake, you are punished and that’s what football at the high level is like.”

The Warriors’ build-up to the tournament was chaotic as issues to do with accommodation, kit, remuneration all grabbed headlines.

“One problem we are having is that we just want the end result. We need to look at how we prepare ourselves,” Pasuwa said.

“This is football at the highest level and we need to put everything in place before we go and play at such tournaments.” —Godknows Matarutse

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