zimbabwe-national-team-the-warriors.jpgFootball analysts have expressed mixed feelings on the Zimbabwe national soccer team’s performance in 2011, highlighting a need to improve in 2012.

The Warriors’ failure to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) was the major highlight of Zimbabwean football.

Football analyst, Stanley Katsande lamented the Warriors’ failure to deliver when it matters most indicating the need to improve in 2012, while veteran football commentator, Charles Mabika did not totally condemn the Warriors.

2011 was a disastrous year for Zimbabwe’s senior soccer team which began the year with an early exit at the 2011 African Nations Championships (CHAN) following defeats to Niger and South Africa in the group stages.

The biggest disappointment however came from the team’s failure to qualify for AFCO 2012.

A bad start saw the Warriors held to a nil-all draw by Cape Verde in an encounter where a coaching drama saw Norman Mapeza and Madinda Ndlovu co-coaching the Warriors following the deportation of Tom Saintfiet who had assumed duty without acquiring a work permit.

The Warriors went onto lose 2-nil to Mali in Bamako.

A 2-1 home victory over Mali, which was followed up by a 3-nil win over Liberia however revived the Warriors’ hopes of qualification, but the 2-1 defeat to Cape Verde ended the country’s qualification hopes.
The national soccer team’s year however ended with a developmental side crashing to a 1-nil quarter final defeat to Uganda in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.

Zimbabwe subsequently dropped 28 places on the FIFA rankings to end the year ranked 98th, 20 places above their January ranking.

In 14 encounters Zimbabwe won 7 games, losing 6 and drawing 1.