HARARE – Young Warriors coach Jairos Tapera lashed out at Zifa for poor preparations after watching his charges being held to a goalless draw by Cameroon in a 2017 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier yesterday.
The Young Warriors only trained for two days prior to yesterday’s match and
Tapera says it will be difficult for his charges to produce positive results under such circumstances.
Despite some individual performances from team captain Patrick Musaka (Bantu Rovers), who was outstanding throughout the afternoon, and Highlanders’ Prince Dube, Tapera’s charges lacked cohesion for most parts of the game.
“I think I would rather run away from commenting about this game. I will comment on the preparations. I can only say hats off to the technical team for the splendid job,” Tapera said.
“We were given only three days and we trained for two days because the other day we had problems that we could not control. And our opponents had two months to prepare and they played three international friendlies.
“It’s sad for our country to do such things. And with these young boys giving such a splendid performance after only training for two days is unbelievable. Some of the players only trained for one day.
“I had to drive to look for some of these boys using my own resources. It’s unbelievable. Somebody is given three months to prepare and you are given two days. What do you expect?”
On the team’s chances of progressing to the next round when they go to Yaounde for the second leg, Tapera said: “Even if we are fancying our chances in the return leg, the question is are we going to be given enough time to prepare?
“After the Botswana game, I wanted to continue in camp with the boys. What is going to happen in Cameroon is something else but football is about preparing. If you don’t prepare it’s only a recipe for disaster.”
Cameroon coach Cyprian Besong seemed satisfied with the draw and is confident of wrapping up the game in the second leg on June 10.
“It was a good performance but we could have done more with the chances that we created. Since we have a return leg at home, I think we will have to go a gear up and win the game,” Besong said.
“Even though we created some good chances, it will be a different game all together. We will step up, I am sure we are confident of ourselves and we will give them a tough game.”
The Young Warriors had chances of scoring especially in the second half with Dube coming close on several occasions.
They, however, ran out of steam allowing the West Africans to come at them especially in the closing stages.
Zimbabwe had goalkeeper Nelson Chadya to thank for denying Cameroon on several occasions.
In the end, they had to settle for a draw. The Young Warriors will now need to go to Yaounde and win or force a scoring draw to progress to the next round.