The new-look Warriors have brought hope to the success-starved Zimbabwe football family following their spirited performance in Egypt on Tuesday evening though they fell to the Pharaohs at the last minute.
Most Zimbabweans say they are happy with the new-look squad despite their 2-1 defeat to Egypt in a 2014 World Cup qualifier match in Alexandria.
Solid in defence, creative in midfield, Zimbabwe dominated their more fancied Egyptian opponents and could easily have won the match had they utilised all the numerous scoring opportunities that came their way.
Although technically the team is out of a place for the 2014 World Cup finals to be hosted by Brazil in June next year, soccer analysts and football fans believe German coach Klaus Dieter Pagels has done a good job in building an exciting team for the future. They say there is need for patience before impressive results start coming.
Sports reporter Langton Nyakwenda of the weekly Sunday Mail newspaper says although the Warriors are out of the World Cup, the new team can qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals and probably the 2018 World Cup, judging by Tuesday’s performance.
Television commentator Albert Chekayi agrees with Nyakwenda, adding the team should start concentrating on the next Africa Cup of Nations and the 2018 World Cup.
Nyakwenda says new coach has brought back the fighting spirit in the Warriors camp, adding the Zimbabwe Football Association should give him time to revive the good old Reinhard Fabisch days in which Zimbabwe was ranked 7th
in Africa. At the moment, the country is ranked 27th
in the African continent and 100 in the world.
During the late Fabisch days Zimbabwe went for 13 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers without losing a game.
National Soccer Supporters Association member, Tendai Makoni, had predicted a one-all draw between the Warriors and Egypt. He was not completely off the mark until the Egyptians got their second goal with only two minutes remaining.
The loss against the Pharaohs has left Zimbabwe anchoring the four-team group with only one point from three matches while Egypt top the group with nine points and are set to qualify for the World Cup.
Guinea is second with four points while Mozambique is third with two points.