Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic said he was frustrated over his failure to win in his first six games in charge, saying circumstances beyond his control conspired against him.
His first game in charge of the Zimbabwe senior men’s football team was a low-profile friendly against Malawi which ended goalless.
The Croat finally tasted victory as Warriors coach when he employed a traditional 4-4-2 structure in the AFCON qualifier against Botswana on Thursday night.
Former FC Platinum forward Perfect Chikwende, on his debut, scored the all-important goal, in the first half.
Speaking after the match at the team hotel in Botswana, Logarusic said:
I am on cloud nine. I had gone for six games without winning and it was becoming frustrating.
But, I knew when I will eventually win, the victory will be massive, not in terms of scoreline, but in terms of significance.
… When I was appointed (as Zimbabwe coach), COVID-19 came upon the world and the disturbances that followed didn’t help any matters.
At the CHAN tournament in January, I took with me players who had only five training sessions together and, the fact that they had gone for over 13 months without playing any football, weighed down upon us.
Now, we had more than nine key players failing to join us.
Zimbabwe will host Zambia on Monday in their final qualifier at the National Sports Stadium having already qualified for the finals after beating Botswana.
Logarusic becomes the first foreign coach to take the Warriors to the AFCON finals and as of Thursday, Zimbabwe was the only Southern African country to have qualified. Said Logarusic:
To become the first foreign coach, to take this great nation to the AFCON finals is something I am going to cherish forever.
Loga also joined Charles Mhlauri, and Callisto Pasuwa, in taking the Warriors to the Nations Cup, with a game to spare.