Warriors striker, Matthew Rusike, has said one of the reasons the Warriors crashed out of the 2017 Africa Cup Of Nations in Gabon was the lapse in concentration.
Speaking to Soccer24 on arrival from Gabon, the 26-year-old striker said the Warriors succumbed to the pressure of playing at the highest level.
“The pressure situations might have affected us a bit. They call it the critical phase, [where] you just lapse in concentration, playing against big teams [and] they will punish you. I think that’s what happened against us you know; a few sloppy passes, players switched off for 10 seconds, you know, the ball is in the back of the net.
“Against Algeria, we had the opportunity to capitalize and we missed the opportunity to do so, which would have sealed off the game for us and 30 seconds later the ball is in the back of our net and we get the draw.
“Small minor details are what eventually lead to the whole experience factor we are talking about,” he said.
Rusike was criticized for his display in the 2-0 loss to Senegal and was substituted for Evans Rusike at half time.
He, however, said the disappointing shenanigans at AFCON 2017 will be a platform on which to build experience and future references.
In their last group B match against Tunisia, the Warriors started on a slow tempo and quickly conceded two goals in 22 minutes. The Warriors failed to recover and were eventually booted out of the tournament.
“It was a long road from the word go of qualification, and I think being the lowest-ranked team in the tournament I feel . . . it’s a foundation on which to go forward. We haven’t qualified in the last 10 years and I think that maybe on the next edition, the guys have a taste of what it is to play elite football against elite players and that’s the experience gained [and] needed in these sorts of tournaments,” he said.