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Why Pasuwa didn’t play Deco

Warriors coach Callisto Pasuwa says he tried not to give too much information to the opponents before their showdown against Senegal, but that still didn’t stop the classy Lions of Teranga here on Thursday night.

Danny Phiri of Zimbabwe battles with Abdelsalam Omar of Libya during the 2014 CAF African Nations Championships Semi Final
Danny Phiri of Zimbabwe battles with Abdelsalam Omar of Libya during the 2014 CAF African Nations Championships Semi Final

Pasuwa did not reveal that Danny ‘Deco’ Phiri had picked a knee injury and his absencemeant Marvelous Nakamba had to play in a deep role along with skipper Willard Katsande.

Striker Nyasha Mushekwi agreed with his coach that they probably lost to the best team at the AFCON finals.

“Yeah, it was a bruising battle. We tried the best we could, but we didn’t concentrate in the first 15 minutes,” said Mushekwi.

“Then they got those two unfortunate goals and it was difficult from then onwards. Physically, they were stronger than us. We tried our best, but we couldn’t get a result. We now look forward to the next game.

“They are a good team and they are number one in Africa for a reason. They are up there for a reason and you saw that against us.”

The Warriors had promised much against Algeria, but faced a reality check against Africa’s best.

“The way they were moving, this time around, was kind of different from the first game,” said Mushekwi.

“It was difficult for us to try and track them around because everybody was just everywhere. So they played much better than us. Yes, definitely against Tunisia, we have to win the game.”

Skipper Willard Katsande said the Lions of Teranga did their homework on the Warriors.

“Obviously, they did their homework. About how we play, we are having a problem because we are conceding goals so easily especially during the critical stages of the game which is the early stages of the game.

“The day we are going to resist and keep a clean sheet in the first 45 minutes, I think we are going to play freely and win matches. Obviously, this game was tough. We gave it our best, but our best was not good enough. There is no time to cry. We need to lift ourselves up and fight to get a result.”

Katsande believes they have to look into the future.

“We still have a game against Tunisia and we need to give everything in order to fulfil our dream of reaching the group stages,” said Katsande.

“We need to go to the drawing board.

“This is an important learning curve for us. We have to simply prepare well for the next game.

“The first game, nobody new about us, but the second game was more tactical. Like I said, it was just one of those days when we had a bad day in office.”

The Warriors now shift base from Franceville to Libreville for the last group match against Tunisia.

“We can’t change what happened in the past. What we can only change is the future which is the game against Tunisia,” said Katsande.

“We owe the fans a win. After what we showed them against Algeria, I’m sure they were not expecting this.

“We will pick ourselves up and try to find our way in the next encounter. We need them to support the team.

“I know there will be a lot of criticism, but at the end, the most important thing will be to support the team and avoid a lot and negativity.” The Herald