Warriors, Barca Legends in thrlling draw

HARARE - Their legs appeared a little slower, the stomachs a little bigger and the hair a little greyer but the legends provided the National Sports Stadium crowd with plenty of footballing class and skill.  

The Warriors and Barcelona Legends did their best to give the fans in attendance an enthralling afternoon.

The Warriors fielded the likes of Moses Chunga, Agent Sawu, Peter Ndlovu, Madinda Ndlovu, Benjani Mwaruwari, William Mugeyi Tinashe Nengomasha, Kalisto Pasuwa and Dumisani Mpofu among others.

As for the visitors, Rivaldo, Patrick Kluivert, Edgar Davids, Zambrotta Gianluca and Jose Edmilson were on display in front of a noisy crowd which included Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko for a match designed to honour President Robert Mugabe.

An entertaining affair began brightly for the visitors with Kluivert scoring two quick unerring headers inside the opening 10 minutes to set the Barcelona Legends on the way.

However, Warriors Legends moved up the gears in the second half ,especially following the introduction of former Zimbabwe Saints midfield maestro Ronald Sibanda, whose touch, technique, and sheer showmanship, provided the cutting edge in midfield.

Sibanda has put on a little bit of weight, and the muscular frame has gone but he showed he is still in a league of his own. The former Dynamos midfielder lit up the game with a couple of little flicks and deft touches.

Former Highlanders striker Zenzo Moyo cut the deficit on 54 minutes with an acrobatic finish that gave the Barca goalkeeper no chance. And then with just 10 minutes left to play, the Warriors drew level through Edward Sadomba with a well-taken goal from inside the box to ensure a share of the spoils.

And after the game Sunday Chidzambwa, who took charge of the Warriors Legends said he was taken down memory lane and wants to see more of these kind of matches in the future.

“I think it was a good match for the fans and some of us.

“We saw some former players playing some very good football and also as coaches, we learnt one or two things from Barcelona Legends,” Chidzambwa said after the match.

“They are old but they can still play football. I think we need more of these games. It’s entirely up to the mother body.

“We need some bit of sponsorship so that we can have more of these matches. These games bring some good old memories like when I saw the crowd I thought of the game when we played Mali in 2003 and most of these guys were playing in that game.

“It was very touching. You saw the crowd that attended and to me I think it’s the best that I have ever seen this season. I don’t know whether you agree with me and I thought it does promote tourism.”

Barcelona Legends official Rayco Garcia, who played a crucial role in bringing the former Azulgranas to Zimbabwe said: “It was a very good competitive match, I think all the people enjoyed with us.

“The people who came to the stadium today saw their local stars as well as the international stars of Barcelona and for us it’s a pleasure to be in this country,” Garcia said.

“And to see and to feel the passion of the local people was great.

“We played in Mozambique and it was amazing but here we were more impressed.”

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