Mpandare blames poor run for Warriors plunge
Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
WARRIORS team manager, Wellington Mpandare, conceded yesterday the continued fall of the national team on the FIFA rankings,was a sad reflection of the bad patch the team has gone through.
The Warriors tumbled five places down the ladder to number 118 in the latest rankings released by the world football controlling body yesterday.
This is their worst position this year, and it comes against the grim background of a horrible 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, which ended in miserable circumstances after losing back-to-back matches against Ghana.
“It’s unfortunate we dropped but we cannot cry foul because it’s a true reflection of our performance,’’ Mpandare told The Herald.
“The results have not come as expected in the last few games, hence the decline in the rankings.
“But that is obviously one of the reasons why ZIFA have intervened and they are making changes in the technical team.
“Hopefully, things will improve on the field of play and our ranking will pick up as well.’’
The Warriors played two games during the period under review and lost both matches to Ghana.
They suffered a 1-3 defeat in Cape Coast before surrendering their World Cup fate at home, with a 0-1 defeat at the National Sports Stadium, last week.
Zimbabwe have been on the downward spiral in the last three editions of the FIFA Rankings following their disappointing campaign, in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The Warriors have one point in four outings.
They began their campaign with a goalless home draw against South Africa and then followed up with a shock 0-1 defeat to Ethiopia.
This prompted ZIFA to fire hapless Croatian coach, Zdravko Logarusic, and replace him with an interim set-up led by Norman Mapeza.
But, results have continued to elude the Warriors.
They dropped five places in the September rankings, and this month they drifted further five places down the ladder.
This means that in two months they have dropped 10 places.
Zimbabwe also dropped three places this month, on the continental rankings, and are now positioned 29th in Africa.
The Warriors were the biggest losers, in the 2022 Group G qualifiers, while South Africa, who enjoyed back-to-back wins over Ethiopia, enjoyed big gains.
Bafana Bafana, who now lead Group G with 10 points, moved seven places up the ladder from 73rd to 66th in the world.
They also moved one place up to 12th on the continent.
Ghana moved one place to 52nd in the world, following the two wins over Zimbabwe, which rekindled their World Cup campaign, after a slow take off.
The Black Stars were unmoved, on the African rankings, where they sit on number seven.
Ethiopia dropped three places to 137, following the back-to-back losses to South Africa.
Zimbabwe are set to play the final two rounds of their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign against South Africa, and Ethiopia, next month.
The next rankings will be released on November 25.