Tunisia humiliate Warriors

HARARE - Zimbabwe was knocked out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in the group stages after last night’s humiliating 4-2 defeat to Tunisia at the Stade de L'Amitie in the Gabon.

The Carthage Eagles taught the Warriors as Youssef Msakni ran rings round the Warriors defenders throughout the 90 minutes.

Kalisto Pasuwa’s side needed a win outright from last night’s match having already draw 2-2 with Algeria and lost 2-0 to Senegal in their previous Group B matches.

However, the Warriors shipped in four goals in the opening half which left them with a tall order to get something out of the match. 

The Carthage Eagles opened the scoring as early as the 10th minute when Naim Sliti shot from the edge of the box took a deflection off Elisha Muroiwa to deceive Warriors goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva.

Zimbabwe’s players reacted slowly to rush out of their box after having defended a Tunisia corner and Sliti had all the time to shoot at goal through a forest crowded of legs from the edge of the box.

Unfortunately for the Warriors the shot struck Muroiwa’s knee and the slight deflection took Mkuruva out of the picture.

The Warriors looked disjointed in those early minutes especially at the back as they never looked assured every time Tunisia attacked.

Msakni increased the Carthage Eagles’ lead in the 22nd minute after exchanging passes with Sliti before firing his shot through Mkuruva’s legs.

It was a moment of magic from Qatar-based forward as he glided into the Warriors box as if there were no defenders.

Moments later the Carthage Eagles had the ball in the back of the net but Khazri’s effort was correctly ruled out for offside after Msakni’s shot had struck the upright.

The Warriors first real chance in the opening half came in the 33rd minute when Knowledge Musona cut in from the right before firing in a left-footed shot that was parried for a corner by the Carthage Eagles goalkeeper Rami Jridi.

Nine minutes from the break, the North Africans were three goals to the good after a tidy finish by Taha Yassine Khenissi inside the box.

Tunisia full back Hamdi Nagguez played in a Khenissi with an intelligent through ball behind the Zimbabwe line.

Muroiwa failed to put any pressure on the Tunisia forward, who simply produced a poachers finish to beat Mkuruva at his near post. 

Musona gave Zimbabwe some hope two minutes before the break when he lashed home a face saver for the Warriors.

It was a brilliant individual finish by the KV Oostende forward as he beat two players on the right before firing in at the far post to beat Jridi.

When there looked like a silver lining was on the horizon, Tunisia were awarded a penalty a minute after Musona’s goal when Costa Nhamoinesu pulled down Sliti inside the box.

Khazri made no mistake from 12 yards out despite Mkuruva’s going the right direction. The Dynamos goalkeeper was simply beaten by the pace of the spot kick. 

At the start of the second half, Warriors coach pulled out Danny Phiri and replaced him with Tendai Ndoro.

The Orlando Pirates forward made an instant impact when he linked up with Marvelous Nakamba, Khama Billiat and Musona before toe-pocking past Jridi in the 58th minute.

It was a swift counter attack by Zimbabwe as Nakamba won possession in his own half before linking up with Billiat as the Warriors broke with pace.

In the end, Musona provided the assist as he fed in an on rushing Ndoro, who shrugged of the challenge of Ali Maaloul to reduce the deficit.

There were no more goals after that but Mkuruva was called into make some important saves as Tunisia continued to push forward.

Zimbabwe: Tatenda Mkuruva, Costa Nhamoinesu, Danny Phiri (Tendai Ndoro 46min), Hardlife Zvirekwi, Elisha Muroiwa, Onismor Bhasera, Willard Katsande, Marvelous Nakamba, Knowledge Musona (Kuda Mahachi 89min), Khama Billiat, Nyasha Mushekwi.

Tunisia: Rami Jridi, Siam Ben Youssef, Aymen Abdennour, Yousesf Msakni, Wahbi Khazri, Taha Yassine Khenissi, Ali Maaloul, Ferjani Sassi, Mohamed Amine Ben Amor, Hamdi Nagguez, Naim Sliti

Comments (2)

Why not sending zanu pf to such competitions, I bet no-one stands a chance they can bring the cup home as they have mastered the art of riging

Kufandada - 24 January 2017

The warriors have failed in their attempt at Afcon.But realistically who is to blame for this dismall failure. All the stakeholders need to look at themselves whether they did their best for this group of players. I think we all agree that this was one of the most talented group of player delegation we sent to Afcon.Starting from Zifa did they do their best,Did they choose the best coach.Did they provide everything including allowances on time.I personally feel the problems are at Zifas hands but our coach has proved he has not yet aquired the level required at this level.The team showed lack of ability in defence that has never been seen in the country. Pasuwa was good for club football but this level is a bit too high for him. You may need to bring back faces like Chidzambwa, Roy Baretos and even a European coach.

Zvigubhu Ngondongondo - 26 January 2017

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