Finally, it's all over . . . Warriors end worst World Cup qualifying campaign
Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor ZIMBABWE’S Warriors yesterday brought the curtain down on a depressing 2014 World Cup campaign — their worst since the six-match four-team group qualifying format was introduced in Africa exactly 25 years. On the 20th anniversary of the year when Reinhard Fabisch and his Dream Team came within 90 minutes of booking a place at the ‘94 World Cup finals, the Warriors failed to flex their muscles in a poor campaign that never took off from day one. Having started with a home defeat, at the hands of Guinea, the Warriors who limped from one poor result to another, finally closed this campaign with a home draw against Mozambique, which gave them the wooden spoon, as they finished bottom of the group.
The Warriors’ failure in this campaign is put in its proper context by the fact that they even finished four points shy of the tally that Valinhos managed, in what was also dubbed a doomed campaign, in the battle for a place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Ian Gorowa, the third coach to take charge of the team in their six games in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, could not produce the victory that his team needed yesterday to move clear of bottom place in Group E, after the Warriors again froze on home soil and never shifted into second gear in a dull show that mirrored their entire lifeless campaign.
The goal the Warriors conceded yesterday meant that they leaked a goal, in all the three home games, and with four coming in the last match against Egypt, the combined six goals meant that, on average, they let in two goals in their backyard in each of the three games. It’s the first time, in a group, of at least four teams, that Zimbabwe has failed to win even a single game since Fifa introduced the group format for African teams ahead of the ‘90 World Cup finals in Italy.
Although the Warriors failed to win a game during the battles for a place in Italy, their group was reduced to three teams after Libya pulled out. It’s the first time the Warriors have finished bottom of their World Cup qualifying group, since the four-team group format was introduced, with the senior national team having played, at least, six games.
The two points that the Warriors have, after six matches in their fruitless campaign for a place in Brazil next year, represent the lowest points tally for the senior national team, in a four-team group qualifying campaign for the World Cup, since the introduction of this format.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at The HeraldSimilar Stories