Zebras stun Warriors

HARARE - Botswana proved to be the perfect party spoilers when they beat Zimbabwe during yesterday’s international friendly at the National Sports Stadium.

The two teams were clashing as part of Zimbabwe’s 38th Independence Day celebrations in front of a capacity crowd.

Botswana scored the only goal of the match through Kobamelo Kebaikanye in the 21st minute and the Warriors never recovered to hand the visitors’ the inaugural Zimbabwe Presidents’ Independence Cup.

I think our guys were a bit nervous in the first half as you know we had a many youngsters in the team,” Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa said. 

“In the second half we played quite well and created some chances but we could not find an equaliser.”

Zebras coach David Bright said: “We did not have much time to prepare for this match since we were called the team on Monday and we just talked about our game plan on board the plane here.

“But I’m happy that our team has managed to beat a good Zimbabwe side away from home.”   

Zimbabwe started the match on the front foot especially on the right side where Yadah FC pair of Jimmy Dzingai and Leeroy Mavhunga were combining well.

The home side should have taken the lead in the 10th minute but Clive Augusto failed to turn in a cross from the right by Mavhunga.

The Yadah winger beat his marker before sending in a low cross into the danger area where Augusto had made a run behind the Zebras’ defence.

Augusto did not get a proper connection as he slid in to meet Mavhunga’s cross and the ball went just wide of Goitseone Phoko’s far post.

Mavhunga was in the thick of things in those early exchanges and should have been on the score sheet after he was released by Liberty Chakoroma.

The Yadah winger was set to go one-on-one against the Zebras keeper Phoko but lost his footing at the crucial moment allowing the visitors’ defence to recover.

A moment later, Botswana had their first chance of the match when Thathayaone Kgamanyane forced a good save from Warriors goalkeeper Donovan Bernard after some shoddy defending from the home side’s defence.

That was a warning to the Warriors’ defence as Botswana was to take the lead in the 21st minute through similar circumstances.

Warriors’ defender Peter Muduhwa failed to deal convincingly with a long clearance as he allowed the ball to bounce off his thigh.

The on-rushing Kebaikanye then unleashed a low volley with his left foot that gave Bernard no chance.

It was clear the Warriors defenders were struggling every time a long ball came into their box.

Seven minutes later Kgamanyane should have increased the Zebras’ lead when Muduhwa dithered to clear and the Botswana number 10’s header went wide.

In the 34th minute, Kabelo Seakanyeng had another on the volley after poor clearance by Stephen Makatuka but Bernard made a save.

At the halftime whistle a number of fans were disappointed with the Warriors display and began throwing missiles onto the pitch.

As a result, the Zebras were forced to conduct their halftime team talk on the pitch as they feared getting caught up in the fracas.

Shortly after the break, Chidzambwa made two changes by replacing Winston Mhango and Jimmy Dzingai with Herentals’ Richard Hachiro and Praise Tonha.

However, it was the Zebras, who still created the clearer cut chances at the start of the second period.    

The goal scorer Kebaikanye should have made it 0-2 but he had his shot saved for a corner by Bernard in the 52nd minute after he had been left unmarked at the back post.

From the set piece, Bernard missed the delivery before the ball ricocheted off Liberty Chakoroma before Zimbabwe cleared their lines.

Zimbabwe’s best chance to find an equaliser fell to Chakoroma 10 minutes from time but he shot straight at Phoko after the Zebras had failed to clear Mavhunga’s corner kick.

At the other end, substitute Onkabetse Makgantai should have killed off the game but he failed to beat Bernard after a slip by Makatuka. 

In the end, the miss did not come back to haunt the visitors as they weathered a late siege on their goal by the Warriors.

Teams:

Zimbabwe: Donovan Bernard, Peter Muduhwa, Stephen Makatuka, Jimmy Dzingai (Praise Tonha 47m), Farai Madhanaga, Winston Mhango (Richard Hachiro 47m), Liberty Chakoroma, Leeroy Mavhunga, Raphael Manuvire (Ian Nyoni 59m), Terrence Dzvukamanja, Clive Augusto

Botswana: Goitseone Phoko, Tapiwa Gadibolae, Lesenya Ramoraka, Tshepo Maikano, Lesego Keredilwe, Alphonse Modisaotsile, Kabelo Seakanyeng, Gape Mohutsiwa, Thatayoane Kgamanyane, Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Kobamelo Kebaikanye

    Comments (1)

    In zimbabwe zvekuti toda munhu ane CAF A licence chete to coach mu premier league hazvina deal kana profit , the question is in zimbabwe do we have the players good enough to take us ku world cup ???? Mourinho can come and coach mu zimbabwe , but with the current crop of players COSAFA cup is the only thing he will achieve .

    paul moyo - 20 April 2018

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