Now that was pizzazz!

IMAGINE Alick Macheso, Sulumani Chimbetu or Jah Prayzah performing without dancers, missing that choreography and some individual brilliance that brings the stage alive.

In my view that is how the Warriors played before the return of Norman Mapeza.

Under Kallisto Pasuwa they won matches but they rarely entertained!

For an average soccer supporter like myself – the final result of a game is not sufficient to make me feel like I got value for money.

The atmosphere has to be electric and the boys have to put up a show, they have to win in style.

At the National Sports Stadium last Sunday the Zimbabwe national team justified our screaming “Mapeza brings the pizzazz” headline with a show that was good enough to charm even the devil.

It was a convincing 3-0 win by the Warriors in their first Afcon qualifier.

Yet, what really caught the eye was how the Warriors handled the business, playing it beautiful and leaving an impression difficult to ignore.

That and more is why the National Sports Stadium will be a full house in the next home match.

I will be there to back Mapeza again, a rarity from a big Shabanie Mine fan.

The show exhibited by the Warriors may not have surprised Pure Platinum Play, Chinda Boys fans or anyone who knows how Mapeza wants his team to go about business.

What we saw last Sunday was just a display of Mapeza’s philosophy at a higher level, just part of the dosage delivered at Mandava, but this time executed by more refined footballers.

When the referee blew to end the match, for a change, I could afford a smile in the same corner with Mapeza, the man who at club level is employed by a team we Shabanie Mine fans hate the most.

For defender Erick Chipeta, who was making a comeback, it was a perfect outing.

“It was a massive result for us and we need to build on that performance. We will have to put more effort,” he said.

And what was Mapeza’s instruction to him?

“He told me to play simple football, to just control and pass. He is always motivating me and he just said play your normal game and always think positive.”

The Ajax Cape Town defender was perfect.

But perfection went beyond the pitch.

It did not matter that this was not a full house.

The Mexican wave started much earlier than anticipated.

The wave from the sea of green and yellow seemed not to end at some point.

Now Phillip Chiyangwa and his Zifa need to make sure that the show we saw last Sunday does not stop – they just have to give Mapeza the full time job and pay him his worth.

The boys love their coach and they played for him last Sunday with Kuda Mahachi running like he a man powered by electricity, Marvellous Nakamba showing his worth, Teenage Hadebe paying the perfect tribute to his late mother and Thabani Kamusoko silencing his critics.

And finally, one of the reasons you will see me again in the upper right corner of the VVIP for the next Warriors match, is the desire to see where Mapeza – or whoever will be the coach – will play Khama Billiat.

May the Warriors show go on and on and on!

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  • Masaisai

    I want to totally disagree with you on your praise of Mapeza and the display our team showed against Liberia. The Worriors did not play intelligent and skillful soccer. In fact it was not the Worriors that played well but Liberia that played badly. The Liberian back four tried a Barcelona tikka-takka and that was their downfall. Barcelona style doesn’t work against speed merchants of the likes of Knowledge Musona, Kuda Mahachi and Tendai Ndoro. The Liberian strike force was very predictable and so lightweight it was easy for the Worriors defence to mop up every attack it faced. The Worriors’ style of pumping balls upfront only works against weak teams. It may not even work against say Swaziland. Mapeza is not the right man for the Worriors job. He messed up the last time he took charge and what has he done to prove he has improved? Don’t count the Liberia game please.

  • Ruzvidzo Nyakudya

    I agree with Masaisai. You cannot judge a coach or team after a match against a team like Liberia and our first match of the competitions after all. So far Calisto Pasuwa is the coach with best record. The warriors played a very good game against Algeria at Afcon, and so how can you compare Algeria with Liberia. Algeria was number 2 then in Africa and now 10 and where is Liberia?. I will start judging after the game against DRC. Zimbabwe we still need a foreign besides better football policies from ZIFA. The current national team will perfom just the way the other previous national teams perfomed.