As the nation drowns in a soul-searching exercise following the stumble by the Warriors in a 1-1 draw against Guinea in an African Cup of Nations qualifier at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday, goalkeeper Washington Arubi, whose howler was blamed for the result, has received the backing of coaches.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Harare City coach Taurai Mangwiro said mistakes do happen in football and there was no reason for Arubi to hold his head low in shame.
Mangwiro described the Pretoria University goalminder as an experienced keeper who has served his country with distinction over the years and said Arubi should get strength from the fact that it has also happened in South Africa.
“I think the Warriors responded well after conceding an early goal. It’s usually difficult to concede so early and then bounce back. Guinea are a formidable side and we cannot take anything away from them,” Mangwiro said.
“But it is unfortunate that when a goalkeeper makes a mistake, there will be no one to make up for the blunder. Arubi is an experienced goalkeeper and has served his country with distinction over the years. He shouldn’t be condemned because of that howler. If you look at the strikers, how many chances did they miss? Mistakes are all part of the game. It happened with [Itumeleng] Khune in South Africa at the weekend when they were beaten 3-1 by Mauritania,” Mangwiro said.
How Mine gaffer Luke Masomere also backed Arubi to bounce back from this setback.
“Arubi shouldn’t be blamed for that mistake. He should be encouraged instead because these things happen in football the world over. But the Warriors played well considering that they had very little time to prepare for the match and combinations are always difficult when you don’t have enough time to prepare. Maybe what I can just say is that we lacked creativity somehow and there was no smooth flow of clean passes to Nyasha Mushekwi and Cuthbert Malajila. But with better preparations, (coach Kalisto) Pasuwa is doing a good job,” Masomere said.
Guinea raced into the lead three minutes into the match, profiting from a mistake by Arubi who presented them with a neatly-wrapped gift when failing to control a Danny Phiri backpass, leaving Belgium-based Idrissa Sylla with the simple task of tapping-in.
But to their credit, the Warriors recovered quickly to snatch a vital point courtesy of a beautiful striker by Knowledge Musona on 34 minutes.
Malajila missed two good chances to give the Warriors three points in the second half when he side-footed wide and then followed that up with a header which he also directed off-target with the goalkeeper a beaten man.
Mushekwi was presented with one chance and the resultant header skimmed the post and went wide.
Source : NewsDayZimbabwe