Warriors cry foul after draw

HARARE – Zimbabwe were left questioning match officials’ decisions after they were denied what looked like two genuine penalties in a Cosafa Castle Cup tie against Madagascar yesterday at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in South Africa.

Second half substitute Raphael Manuvire was brought down in the box five minutes from time but the referee Joshua Bondo from Botswana waved play-on.

A few moments later, the Madagascar goalkeeper Leda Randrianasolo hacked down Warriors captain Ovidy Karuru in the box but Bondo again did not point to the spot.

Warriors’ assistant coach Bongani Mafu summed up the frustration on the bench after the match.

“It was a gruelling match where we missed a lot of chances and also had a lot of work to do but we were playing a very good side in terms of passing,” Mafu said.

“We had to come up with means and ways of getting goals. We got behind their defence; we had players in the box. Sometimes they went down and on the day we didn’t get the decisions and that’s what happens in football.

“It hurts because that is what we coaches work for. We work to get inside the box and sometimes we feel we should be given the decisions if you merit them, we are not asking for favours but I’m saying we do merit it.”

Herentals’ forward Blessing Majarira was handed a starting birth with golden Arrows striker Knox Mutizwa relegated to the bench but the move failed to work as the Warriors failed to find a breakthrough.

“I think the pace of the match; Majarira is from Division One and the pace of this match was just way ahead of him and the fact that he lasted 45 minutes is an exposure for him,” Mafu said.

“Knox came in with the experience that we needed and the pressure that he gave to the opposition and his link play with Ovidy should have got us as penalty, that’s my dream and that’s what I saw and I believe that.”

Although they still lead the group with four points, yesterday’s draw puts Zimbabwe in a fix as Madagascar are also on four points.

The Warriors now need to beat the Seychelles in their final game tomorrow and hope that Madagascar do not beat Mozambique by a huge margin.

Only the group winners will progress to the quarter-finals where they will play Zambia.

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