Zimbabwe are at the exit door of the 2021 COSAFA Cup, a tournament they have won 6 six times and this has cast an unwanted spotlight on their head coach’s record with the Warriors.
Croatian Logarusic Zdravko Hrvatsko has one victory in 11 matches with the Zimbabwe national team since taking over. The Southern African nation is headed to Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations but the voices of discontent are rising in Zimbabwe and Coach Loga went on the offensive after the loss against Namibia on Sunday afternoon.
“Of the nations here at COSAFA, who is in AFCON? I am in AFCON.” shrugged the coach, who has repeatedly mentioned that he was not able to bring his best team and the players have not played since 2019.
“When I needed to get draw with Algeria, I got draw. So the fans will always be fans but this is what we got and we work now towards the game and the next challenge,” Coach Loga went on as the nation smarted from a 2-0 defeat to the Brave Warriors.
Football has been on and off in many countries around Southern Africa. Namibia come into the COSAFA Cup having played only five games of a transitional tournament. Botswana have virtually had no competitive football for the past two years. So while Coach Loga continuously points to the lack of football for his squad, it is an excuse that can easily be used by at least four other coaches at the tournament.
Zimbabwe’s dominance at the COSAFA Cup over the years has meant that the people expect a good performance each time, regardless of what is happening with the local football. The Warriors have an abundance of talent to call upon from Africa and beyond but according to Coach Loga he could not use his stars in Gqeberha.
“From the team that plays World Cup qualifiers we only have two players here. If we wanted to win this I would have Billiat here, Hadebe, and all these other players that could never come,” the Croat pointed out.
His defense of his record aside, Coach Loga revealed that he has identified the spine of the team that will play in the CHAN qualifiers as well as the few that he will add to the team that will do duty in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this year.
“I have the spine for the team that will go to CHAN qualifiers next year and I have identified two or three that will add on to the team for World Cup qualifying,” explained the Zimbabwe coach.
Zimbabwe’s last group match will be against guest team Senegal and depending on results in other matches, it will very well be their exit match.