BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe football coach Ian Gorowa is not getting carried away by his first home win since taking charge of the Warriors.
Zimbabwe beat Mozambique 2-1 in a friendly international at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday but in his post-match interview, Gorowa downplayed the significance of this result and instead dwelt on the opportunity to prepare the team for next year’s Chan tournament that the match presented.
“It was a good game and we were trying to see other players that we haven’t seen,” Gorowa said.
“Obviously it is a preparation game and I thought it was a good exercise as the purpose of this game which was to assess the fringe players was achieved.”
And it was clear from the onset that the Warriors technical team was out to try out new combinations with a number of new faces in the starting line-up.
Shabanie Mine player Frankson Bushire, Wonder Kapinda of Black Rhinos, Buffaloes defender Themba Ndlovu and former Young Warriors skipper Nqobizitha Masuku were all handed a starting berth by Gorowa and his lieutenants Mkhuphali Masuku and Calisto Pasuwa.
Former Moroka Swallows and Mamelodi Sundowns coach Gorowa has in the past expressed concern that the Warriors central midfield department was rendered threadbare after the suspension of Dynamos’ Devon Chafa hence the inclusion of Bantu Rovers starlet Masuku, who gave a good account of himself although he took a while to settle in.
Dynamos goalkeeper George Chigova, captain of the day Felix Chindungwe of Chicken Inn, Harare City talisman Silas Songani and Danny Phiri from Chicken Inn provided the experience for the new recruits alongside the likes of Milton Ncube and Kuda Mahachi, both who have been capped before at senior level.
Ncube in particular was impressive playing at left back and with time could develop into a flying left back while Dynamos striker Simba Sithole also showed a good eye for goal although he tended to drop too deep at times.
It became evident that Gorowa was testing his players’ versatility when he started ringing the changes in the second half as Dynamos defender Partson Jaure found himself in central midfield playing alongside Phiri while Highlanders left-back Bruce Kangwa replaced Songani wide on the right.
And in his post-match interview with journalists after the match, Gorowa indicated that the game had given him an opportunity to decide on which players to consider when selecting his men for the Chan tournament that gets underway in South Africa in January.
“Yes have won and we play football to win but the purpose of the match was to see kind of players that we have and now that this has been achieved we can now utilize the pool (of players) that we have,” Gorowa said.
Zimbabwe is expected to play another friendly encounter against Libya before they wrap up their preparations for the Chan tournament which kicks off on 11 January 2014.
The Warriors are in Group B alongside Burkina Faso, Uganda and Morocco.
This group will play all their matches at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.