AS WARRIORS TAKE CONTROL OF GROUP L
The indefatigable Warriors of Zimbabwe severely savaged Sihlangu of Swaziland 4 nil in a group L Orange Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the National Sports Stadium on Easter Monday. This result means that the Warriors are now in control of Group L with 8 points.
Four goals in the second half each from Knowledge Musona, Costa Nhamoinesu, Evans Rusike and Khama Billiat all but sealed the fate of Sihlangu.
The Warriors had started on slow note with the first half leaving a lot to be desired as no meaningful chances were created.
A tactical change at halftime by Kalisto Pasuwa bringing in Khama Billiat for Marshall Mudewe changed the complexion of the game as the super substitute combined effectively with Mahachi.
First to score was Knowledge Musona scored a penalty in the 52nd minute after Kudakwashe Mahachi had been fouled in the box after a free flowing move.
With Swaziland still to settle and the fans still celebrating the first goal, defensive Kingman and in form Costa Nhamoinesu got a goal after finishing off Khama Billiat’s well struck free kick in the 60th minute.
Evans Rusike who came in for Nyasha Mushekwi got his goal in 78th minute after pressurizing the Swaziland defence. Khama Billiat rounded of the scoring in the 86th minute with a shot into the bottom corner.
Zimbabwe were dominant in the first half as they enforced their superiority in the middle of the park, in front of a full house crowd at the giant Stadium.
Zimbabwean strikers took turns in missing the chances with Knowledge Musona coming close to put the host in control in the 38th minute as his shot drew the best out of Swaziland goal minder Nhlanhla Gwebu.
The visitors had a goal disallowed for offside in the 25th minute.
On the half time stroke Nyasha Mushekwi and Knowledge Musona combined well only for Nyasha Mushekwi to blast a half volley past the near post.
Warriors coach Pasuwa said the four goas were an advantage to the boys as they may end up deciding the hot spot in the group.
‘I think considering the fact that we scored four goals the group may be decided by goals, this is an advantage to us as the group may be decided on goal difference,’ said Pasuwa.
The Zimbabwean coach further noted that there was need for better preparations in the future for the team to qualify for next year’s tournament.
‘We need to put more in terms of our preparations, Malawi are also playing well so we need to prepare for the game against them,’ said the record winning coach.
His Swaziland counterpart Harris Bulunga conceded that Zimbabwe were the better team of the day.
‘I think we lost to a good team. We played well in the first half and matched them pound for pound, we created chances and they created chances,’ he said.
He however said that the penalty awarded Zimbabwe was soft saying they will have to win their remaining matches.
‘The game changed when that soft penalty was created because according to my opinion that was a soft penalty. We conceded the second goal but we still believe we can come back if we beat Malawi and Guinea,’ he said.
Zimbabwe has played 4 matches drawing 2 and winning two of those.
Zimbabwe: Tatenda Mkuruva, Costa Nhamoinesu, Elaisha Muroiwa, Onismo Bhasera, Tatenda Mudehwe, Willard Katsande, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Nyasha Mushekwi, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Knowledge Musona, Marvellous Nakamba.
Swaziland: Gwebu Nhlanhla, Mabila Sifiso, Mkweli Snele, Mdluli Siyabonga, Dlamini Machawe, Ndlovu Njabulo, Sibandze Xolani, Lukhele Mcolisi, Ndzinisa Sabelo, Badenhorst Felix, Tsabedze Tony