WARRIORS coach Charles Mhlauri has attributed his team`s 2-0 loss Friday to the Super Eagles of Nigeria to the entry in the match of striker Nwankwo Kanu in the second half.
"We had a good first half, but when Kanu came in on resumption, things changed and in the course of about five minutes of madness, my defence line caved in. I think Kanu is a phenomenon in the Nigerian team. I will call him a wizard," Mhlauri remarked.
Speaking Saturday shortly before his team`s departure to Ismailia where they will take on Ghana in the last group match on Tuesday, the Zimbabwean coach noted that if Kanu had not been introduced in the match, the `Warriors` of Zimbabwe had `enough weapon to hold the Eagles`.
He added: "Even if we are out of the tournament, I think we have vastly improved as a team. I'm disappointed that we have lost. The problem was that we lost concentration and Nigeria proved too strong tactically.
"I would love to stay on as head coach for the Warriors but it depends on Zifa. The good thing is that we were part of this competition. Our defence just lost concentration in four minutes and you don't do that against a team like Nigeria."
Zimbabwe's man of the match on Friday, Shingi Kawondera said: "I'm very proud that I have been chosen man of the match against Nigeria. What we need in future is to have self belief. There is really nothing special about these players who play in Europe."
He should know because he has no team!
On the match against Ghana, Mhlauri said notwithstanding their virtual elimination from the tournament, the southern African nation had to "prove a point that we did not come to Egypt to see the Pyramids".
"Of course, we must not go home empty handed because we`ve come a long way here and it is our belief that we can upstage Ghana," he concluded.