The Sunday Mail
On the ball . . .
From the mail box:
Thanks very much for making my Sunday mornings more enjoyable. I would like to ask you this, Charle: It is said “The Warriors” once beat Cameroon 4-0 or 4-1 some 19 years ago. Is this true? And if it is, what was the score in the return match? I remember the 1-0 game when Agent Sawu scored. The return match was 3-1 in Yaounde. So my question is: Did The Warriors ever beat Cameroon 4-1?–Walter Chaku.
Oh Yes, We once beat “The Indomitable Lions” back in January 1995, in a 1996 African Cup of Nations first leg qualifier at the National Sports Stadium by 4 goals to 1.
Striker Vitalis “Digital” Takawira grabbed a hat-trick on that fine afternoon before a large crowd of about 40 000. His co-striker, Agent “Ajira” Sawu, scored the other goal.
In the return leg, however, six months later, Cameroon won in Douala, with their goal coming from a first half controversial penalty that was converted by striker Francois Oman-Biyik for the only goal of the match.
Like you’ve mentioned earlier, we had earlier beaten them in a 1994 World Cup first leg qualifier at the same venue in 1993, with Sawu scoring the only goal of the match.
You and many other fans out there might be delighted to know that we first beat “The Indomitable Lions” by 1 goal to nil, upon our return to international football, in October 1980 at Rufaro.
The late Black Aces’ midfielder — David “Naughty Flea” Muchineripi — scored that priceless goal in a 1982 World Cup second leg qualifier.
Unfortunately, we had lost the first leg 2-0 a fortnight earlier in Yaounde and we bowed out of the 1982 finals tournament.
And to matters of the day:
When a lanky and rugged Scotsman, who had seen considerable success with Scottish giants Aberdeen in the early 80s was appointed as the manager of English Premiership side Manchester United, some of the club’s fans expected his success story to flourish.
They were disappointed because after his appointment in 1986 that Scot — now known the world over as Sir Alex Ferguson — “The Red Devils” had to wait an agonising seven years before the club lifted their first major silverware — the 1993 Premiership title.
Every one of us knows the meaning of the centuries-old adage: “Rome was not built in a day”.
This is why I feel so appalled at the Harare City and Dynamos fans who are calling for the dismissal of both Bigboy “ABC” Mawiwi and Kallisto “Manabhun” Pasuwa as their respective clubs’ coaches.
Hey, hold on . . . I’m not suggesting that failure should be rewarded with unfathomable pardon.
Not at all.
After Ferguson triumphed in his maiden victory trail in 1993, he went on to conquer the world to become one of the greatest soccer managers ever seen.
Mawiwi has obviously floundered in his quest to emulate the amazing success story that saw his “Sunshine Boys” pipped by Dynamos for the Castle Lager Premiership’s “perfect moment” on the very last day of the season last year.
However, I have had the opportunity of watching Harare City on three occasions this season — all losses in which they should have buried the opposition in the first half, but inept finishing let them down.
So does the coach have to take all the blame?
I think not.
People have quickly forgotten that Mawiwi lost his most valuable asset — a rare gem they called “Solar” at Harare City — Silas Songani, at the end of last season to Danish football.
And surely, you don’t lose a player like Songani without paying a big price!
On Friday Harare City got it right, however, beating Triangle 2-1.
Of course, the talk of Harare City still being in the championship race is now just as forlorn as Soul Jah Love combining the lyrics of his hit song “Ndini Uye” with those of Sulu Chimbetu’s blockbuster “Sean Timba” into one mega hit!
“Operation Survival” is now the name of Mawiwi’s war cry for the remainder of the season, I believe.
I think he will definitely survive, with the help of veteran David “Diaspora” Kutyauripo, Martin “Kamudhudhudhu” Vengesayi, Nathan “Short Fuse” Ziwini and the exciting Talent “Spin” Chawapiwa.
As for the “DeMbare” fans who are baying for Pasuwa’s blood? Oh please be serious!
The guy is just three points adrift of joint log leaders Highlanders and ZPC Kariba and has only lost three matches.
Shame on those hooligans who threw missiles at the club’s board chairman, Bernard Marriot, and chief of security Cephas Museba after the team lost 1-nil to a well-organised and disciplined Buffaloes at the National Sports Stadium last week.
Like Mawiwi, I’m sure Pasuwa will get it right although he’ll know that it will be a mammoth task to dislodge “Bosso, who are on top”!
In England Liverpool need a miracle to win the Premiership title as Manchester City are primed for the top award.
They just need a draw to seal it.
However, miracles have been known to happen.
Here in Zimbabwe, a team called Suri Suri once played Darryn T at Rufaro back in the 80s, in the last game of a top-flight season.
Darryn T, who were threatened with relegation, needed to win by a clear 14 goals to survive.
It didn’t look rosy for the textiles side at half-time because they were trailing 0-1.
And then, out of the blue, the floodgates opened and the applecart was upset as Darryn T scored 22 times without any further reply to emerge victorious!
What did I tell you? Miracles do happen!
The match was, however, ruled as dubious by Zifa and the two teams were booted out of the league!
Remember to take care of your loved ones and each other. It’s bye bye for now.
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