Liberia’s 1-0 win over table topping Warriors reduced Zimbabwe’s lead to just one point with one round of matches left in the AFCON 2019 qualifiers
The Lone Star continued its fine home form which has now seen the Liberians win 2 and draw one of their matches in Monrovia.
The Warriors created scoring opportunities in an otherwise lukewarm encounter but the profligacy of forwards Tinotenda Kadewere and Ovidy Karuru kept Liberia in the game early on.
Zimbabwe were left ruing the missed opportunities when William Jebor taped in what was to be the winner from close range in the 72nd minute.
Sunday Chidzambwa made five changes to the team which drew 1 all with DR Congo in October, bringing in Edmore Sibanda, Alec Mudimu, Willard Katsande, Knowledge Musona, and Tinotenda Kadewere for George Chigova, Kevin Moyo, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Talent Chawapihwa and Knox Mutizwa respectively.
Marshall Munetsi who has starred in central defence and central midfield for club and country was pushed to right back in the absence of suspended Tendayi Darikwa.
The Warriors took long to get going and they never really got grip of the proceedings throughout the match, but they did enough to carve potential match winning chances.
Kadewere took three shots on goal, missing the target twice and hitting the target with a tame shot.
The defeat left the Warriors in danger of entirely missing out on the AFCON 2019 finals if Congo can come to Harare and grind a win.
Following the 1 all draw between DR Congo and Congo, the match between DR Congo and Liberia will be tightly contested because the winner automatically qualifies while eliminating the loser.
The scenario will be the same in Harare where the Warriors also need to win to top the group. A point will still be enough for Zimbabwe to go through but it does not guarantee winning the group.
The match in March 2019 comes four months after the anti-climax in Liberia, but the enormity of the task will weigh heavily on the minds of all the Warriors and their supporters.
Zimbabwe has it all in their hands, but with a chance to sneak through, Congo will fight to the end.
Zimbabwe remain top of Group G with eight points but Liberia narrowed the gap to just a point. DR Congo are at six while Congo have 5.
Any of the four teams can qualify for the finals heading into the final round of matches.