Ponderous Warriors in must-win tie

HARARE – The Warriors must rediscover their shooting form when they face Seychelles in a make-or-break tie in the Cosafa Castle Cup this evening at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in South Africa.

Kick-off is at 5pm.

Sunday Chidzambwa’s charges lead the group with four points from two matches following a win against Mozambique (4-0) on Monday and a goalless draw against Madagascar on Wednesday.

Despite sitting at the top of the Group, the Warriors could still find themselves out of the tournament since Madagascar have the same number of points and will face Mozambique in their last match today at the same time.

This means the Warriors now need to beat the Seychelles tonight and hope that Madagascar do not beat Mozambique with a huge score-line.

In the event that Zimbabwe fail to reach the semi-finals where Zambia are waiting, the Warriors will always look back at Wednesday’s draw with the Indian Ocean islanders as a missed opportunity.

The Warriors were ponderous during that match — lacking the killer instinct in the final third as they never really threatened the Madagascar goal.

After netting four goals in the first match, a lot was expected from the side but in the end they were actually lucky to walk away with a point.

Madagascar enjoyed the better exchanges throughout the match with the Warriors failing to win a single corner. 

Towards the end of the match, the Warriors had two penalty appeals turned down by Botswana referee Joshua Bondo when Ovidy Karuru and Raphael Manuvire were brought down inside the box.

Although Warriors assistant coach Bonagni Mafu complained about the decisions after the match, Zimbabwe had not done enough to warrant all three points.

“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 it, we are not asking for favours but I’m saying we do merit it.”

Chidzambwa’s team must learn how to kill off opponents when they have the momentum.

During the win over Mozambique, the Warriors completely dominated the Mambas but awful finishing restricted the scoreline to only 4-0.

Zimbabwe could have gone on to win the match by at least eight goals and they would have been home and dry by now with such a healthy goal-difference.

Today

Zimbabwe v Seychelles (5pm), Madagascar v Mozambique (5pm)

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