The Zimbabwe Warriors were defeated 1-2 by Senegal in a Cosafa Cup Group match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, putting an end to their involvement in the regional tournament.
Zdravko Logarusic team came into the match on the tail of a two-day loss to Namibia, and needed a win, as well as good outcomes in other matches, to advance to the next round.
With only two minutes on the clock, they got off to the perfect start when Delic Murimba was taken down in the box. Zimbabwe was awarded a penalty when the referee pointed to the spot, which was coolly scored by stand-in captain Qadr Amin. Senegal’s first chance came in the seventh minute when a free-kick flew well over the crossbar.
Murimba had a half-chance to extend Zimbabwe’s lead when Senegal made a defensive error in the 15th minute, but his chip over the keeper lacked velocity and was finally cleared.
Senegal came close to tying the game two minutes later, but Amin cleared a goal-bound header from close range.
At the halftime break, the two teams were tied.
After the resumption, Zimbabwe had their first meaningful chance in the 65th minute, when Ben Musaka, with Ovidy Karuru and Murimba in space, went for goal selfishly and missed by a wide margin.
In the 72nd minute, Mapisa came to Zimbabwe’s rescue, making a spectacular double save from close range.
Senegal would score the game’s second goal in the 87th minute, condemning Zimbabwe to loss. As a result, the Warriors are kicked out of Cosafa.
Zimbabwe Warriors Going Nowhere Under Logarusic
Over the years, Zimbabwe has dominated this competition, capturing a record six titles. After losing for the first time in open play in 18 games at the regional event, Logarusic has set a new record. Loga is the man under attack as most fans in Zimbabwe are calling for his sacking.
Luke Masomere Defend Warriors Coach
After Zdravko Logarusic was chastised for his performance with the national squad, Luke “Vahombe” Masomere stepped up to defend him.
Logarusic had only one win in twelve games, and Zimbabwe was knocked out of the COSAFA Cup in the group stage after a 2-1 loss to Senegal.
Masomere noted on Star FM that Logarusic has met part of his objective of qualifying for the intercontinental tournament.
“I support him 150%, he applied for the job and was scouted for it,” Vahombe said. “He met the criteria for the head coach (vacancy) and didn’t impose himself on us.
“(Logarusic) is a coach like me and needs our support and protection so that we can prosper.
“He has made us qualify for the Afcon, and I’m proud and excited about that.
“I’m sure he was recruited to lead the team to Afcon and World Cup. Let’s wait for the World Cup.”