Karuru on cloud nine

HARARE - Warriors captain Ovidy Karuru was delighted to mark his Cosafa Castle Cup debut with a wonderful brace that helped Zimbabwe to a 4-0 win over Mozambique in South Africa on Monday.

Karuru opened the scoring just before halftime when he beat the offside trap before rounding off the Mambas’ goalkeeper to slot his shot into an empty net just before halftime.

For his second strike, the midfielder rose high to head home a corner kick from Leeroy Mavunga in the second period.

Dynamos defender Ocean Mushure and debutant Blessing Majarira, of Northern Region Division One side Herentals FC, scored the other two goals for Sunday Chidzambwa’s side.

Zimbabwe now sit top of Group B ahead of today’s encounter against Madagascar at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.

Karuru, who is currently plying his trade at South Africa’s National First Division side Amazulu after being offloaded by ABSA Premiership giants Kaizer Chiefs last year, was playing for the first time in the regional tournament.

It was also the former Gunners and OH Leuve midfielder’s second game for the national team in a space of a month after a long absence having last featured for the Warriors in 2014 against Tanzania in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Karuru returned to the national team in the Warriors’ 3-0 win over Liberia in a 2019 Afcon qualifier at the National Sports Stadium earlier this month when he was introduced in the second half.

“It always feels good scoring for the national team. It has been long since I last played for the national team,” Karuru said.

“I think this is my second game since my return and I hope to continue doing well. This is the only way I can stay in the fold.

“Hopefully, I have shown what I can do. I have been working hard lately to get as many opportunities as I can.

“I hope this will prepare me well for being part of the team in the future.”

On the win against Mozambique, Karuru believes the warriors are on the right track to win the cup they last won eight years ago on home soil.

Interestingly, Chidzambwa was the last coach to lead the Warriors to Cosafa glory.

“It was a good game and scoring four goals was something special. In tournaments like these you need to score goals because they might make the difference at the end,” Karuru said.

“We hope to keep on playing well and probably get those goals.”

Warriors face Madagascar today at 5pm in their second game of the tournament hoping to maintain the winning streak.

Madagascar beat Seychelles 2-0 in their opening game to move to three points.

On today’s match Chidzambwa said he has little knowledge on their opponents but wants another win to boost their chances of reaching the knockout stages.

“I don’t know anything about Madagascar, maybe I will have to see how they play in the first half then I will take it from there,” said Chidzambwa adding that: “We will try and pick up another set of maximum points to brighten our chances of progressing.”


Zimbabwe v Madagascar (5pm), Seychelles v Mozambique (7:30pm)

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