Mapeza Notes Warriors Progress Despite SA Loss

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By Sports Reporter

WARRIORS interim coach Norman Mapeza says he is happy with the progress made by his team despite their 1-0 defeat to neighbours South Africa in their penultimate 2022 World Cup Group G qualifier at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday night.

The loss against Bafana Bafana was the Warriors fourth in five World Cup qualifiers and leaves them rooted to the bottom of the group ahead of the final match at home against Ethiopia on Sunday.

The Warriors have now lost their last three successive matches since Mapeza took over from sacked Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic.

Despite the poor string of results, the FC Platinum coach said he is pleased with the progress his players have made under his watch.

“Obviously I’m disappointed with the result but I am happy with how we are starting to play. It will take a bit of time but we are getting there. I am happy with what I saw today and we have somewhere to build upon as we look forward to AFCON and the return of other guys from injury,” said Mapeza.

The former Warriors captain, who handed 18-year-old Dynamos winger Bill Antonio his national team debut, says now is the time to start rebuilding the team as most senior players are now heading towards the end of their international careers.

“These youngsters are the future, Knowledge is 31, Khama in his 30s and they are not going to be here with us for long, so we need to start preparing. I am not afraid to throw in youngsters remember I gave Knowledge and Khama their debuts in 2011 when they were youngsters and I will continue to do that for the nation,” he added.

The Warriors arrived back in Harare from South Africa at lunchtime on Friday and will have two training sessions this Saturday ahead of their last group match against Ethiopia at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.