Warriors coach, Kalisto Pasuwa has ruled out resignation despite the national football team’s poor showing at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, where they were booted out in the group stages on Monday.
Zimbabwe were eliminated from the tournament after they finished bottom of Group B after picking up just one point, with Senegal and Tunisia going through with seven and six points, respectively.
The Warriors went into their last match against Tunisia, still in with a chance of going through if they won, but their hopes were shattered with a 4-2 defeat here on Monday night.
Asked about his future, Pasuwa threw the ball into Zifa’s court, hinting that he wants to continue presiding over the Warriors, but it was up to the mother body to decide whether he continues.
“What I can say is, it is my superiors who decide on how I have fared. So, maybe, I will hear from them whether they want to me to continue or not,” he said. “I will also discuss with my manager, but in the end, it’s Zifa who decide on that.”
Pasuwa’s future comes under scrutiny after the team failed to achieve its target of progressing from the group stage.
Zimbabwe managed a draw against Algeria in their opener, in a match they will be kicking themselves for not winning.
The Warriors had Algeria in the corner leading 2-1 with about 10 minutes to go, but they threw it all away following two errors at both ends of the pitch.
Cuthbert Malajila squandered a golden opportunity with the goal at his mercy and, from the clearance, Algeria grabbed the equaliser with a Riyad Mahrez shot, which goalkeeper, Tatenda Mukuruva really should have saved.
From then on, things never looked up for Zimbabwe, who were overrun by a classy Senegal side in the second match, where the Warriors can count themselves lucky that they did not lose by a margin wider than the 2-0 scoreline in the end.
The Tunisia match was the most disappointing for Zimbabweans, who had high hopes that their team could muster a win, which would have been enough to take them through.
Debate has been raging on social media over whether Pasuwa should be kept in his position after Zimbabwe’s show against Senegal.
A section of the fans have blamed the players, while others insist that it was all Pasuwa’s fault that Zimbabwe lost the way they did.
Some have blamed his selection, while others point to his tactics.
In all the matches Zimbabwe failed to go beyond the first 15 minutes without conceding.
Pasuwa blamed poor starts to each of the matches, as the biggest undoing for the Warriors, but observed that preparations could have been better.
“It’s unfortunate that we have been knocked out, but the potential is there, maybe it comes back to the way we prepared. If you look at the three games that we played, we made mistakes in the first 20 minutes, we collapsed in the first 20 minutes and grew into the match. We have learnt a lesson, but I think we need to keep these guys together for a long time, we need continuity. You can see that the potential is there,” Pasuwa said.
He said that Zimbabwe would emerge a better team from this experience and was looking forward to the Afcon 2019 qualifiers.