Young Warriors fall to Botswana

BULAWAYO - The Young Warriors were on Sunday left with an uphill task after losing to visiting Botswana in the first leg of their 2017 African Under-20 Championships qualifier.

The Zimbabwe young stars will have to up their game when they travel to Lobatse, Botswana for the second leg on April 22.

Zimbabwe started the match on the front foot as they threatened to overrun the visitors with a brilliant passing game.

The Young Warriors were virtually camped in the Botswana camp in the first period but Jairos Tapera’s men were let down by poor finishing.

Botswana’s goalkeeper Tumisani Selolwane also pulled off some stunning saves to keep his team in the game and in the end they managed to keep a clean sheet and also scored a crucial away goal.

The Young Zebras scored the all important goal in the 68th minute when Goitseone Ligaopelo headed home a corner kick by Tiriyoane Maome.

Having already repelled the Young Warriors’ attacks for long periods, the Young Zebras fortified their defence protecting the precious away goal.

After the match, Tapera attributed the defeat to a lack of preparations as the side only grouped for camp at the start of last week.

“My boys did very well, we didn’t get any threat from the opposition but our strikers let us down. Scoring is an art but if you do not get time to train that’s exactly what you get,” he said.

“I am happy with the technical team who went out of their way to assemble a team in three days that played today.

“It’s very hard. The last time we assembled an under-20 team was some three years ago and now we were given only three days to select and train.”

Young Zebras coach Philmon Makwengwe admitted it was a tough game but was pleased with the result.

“It was a tough game, they were very quick; they didn’t give us time to settle. They didn’t give us the time to study them,” he said.

Makwengwe whose team has been in camp for two weeks said they were confident they will progress to the next stage.

“We have always been very ambitious, gone are the days when we used to respect countries by virtue of their past record, so we are confident that we are going to win,” he said.

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