When Riyad Mahrez danced past Adam Chicksen to put Algeria 2-0 up on a sunny Tuesday afternoon at the National Sports Stadium last November, many thought that was the end of the Warriors’ AFCON qualifying campaign.
Having lost the corresponding fixture 1-3 in Algiers days before, another loss would have made it very tough for Zimbabwe to book a place at the continental showpiece.
But a brilliant Knowledge Musona freekick on the stroke of half time brought back the belief among the Warriors, a belief which was complimented by coach Zdravko Logarušić during the half time interval.
The Croat made three changes before the beginning of the second half, bringing in Khama Billiat, Ovidy Karuru and Divine Lunga for David Moyo, Tafadzwa Rusike and Adam Chicksen respectively.
That was described by some as the turning point in the game and Logarušić was heaped with praise for that tactical change also for later introducing Prince Dube, who restored parity for Zimbabwe late on.
The result was a big one in Group H, in which the Warriors are now second and more than likely to book a place at the continental football fiesta.
Truth be told, that game changed a lot of people’s opinions about the Croat as those who used to doubt him began to see some kind of light.
But fast forward to January. some might have to re-think.
Zimbabwe became the first team to be knocked out of CHAN 2021 after a shambolic display in the 1-3 loss to Burkina Faso.
The reality is that after the Burkinabe loss, Logarušić has overseen four competitive games in the Warriors dugout, losing three and drawing one.
A friendly against Malawi, which ended goalless, is the other game he has been in charge of.
A win in a competitive game continues to elude the Warriors under the Croat’s guidance.
Did the Algeria draw deceive the football-loving public?