Warriors coach Norman Mapeza has blamed the players for the shocking defeat to Malawi which virtually ended the country’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations on Friday.
Orlando Pirates striker Gabadinho Mhango netted a goal in each half as Malawi Flames bounced back from a goal down to record a rare win over their much fancied opponents.
Winger Ishmael Wadi had given the Warriors a 38th minute lead which lasted five minutes before Mhango completed the comeback around the hour mark.
“Our game management failed us today as we lost very easy balls and conceded easy goals. We had a good game plan but the players never followed the instructions to the latter,” Mapeza said during the post-match interview.
“I feel disappointed but we have taken important lessons and we have also got positives from the game against Malawi and also Senegal.
“We will go back to the drawing board to plan on our next match which is a formality but we would be glad to get positive results against Guinea and go home with something to console us,” he added.
The defeat means that Zimbabwe can only finish bottom of Group B even if they beat Guinea in the final group game on Tuesday.
While he appeared to blame his players for the disappointing campaign, Mapeza made some questionable decisions in his team selection picking the unfit captain Knowledge Musona as well as starting star defender Jordan Zemura on the bench and choosing to use defender Bruce Kangwa as a right winger.
Mapeza also played an ineffective Tino Kadewere in the striker’s role for the entire 90 minutes while he had options in David Moyo and Prince Dube.
The FC Platinum coach is now winless in seven matches since taking charge of the Zimbabwe team following Zdravko Logarusic’s dismissal in September last year.