The Warriors put up a convincing display under difficult conditions as they picked a vital point in a Group A 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia at the Samuel Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia, Liberia last night.
Kaizer Chiefs striker Knowledge Musona was the hero for Norman Mapeza’s charges’ scoring in the 30th minute before the hosts equalised through a controversial goal by Sekou Jabateh Oliseh in the 68th minute.
The result leaves the Warriors in third position on the log with one point while the Cape Verde Islands are the leaders after they beat Mali 1-0 on Saturday. The Warriors next match is at home on the weekend of 8-10 October against the Islanders.
Defender Varela scored the only goal of the match a minute from half time, as the Blue Sharks cruised to one of the biggest wins in recent times.
In Monrovia, Musona capitalised on a defensive blunder by the Liberian defenders to hammer home a grounder. Musona was denied twice by the hosts’ impressive goalkeeper Sundeh Babadou while Lionel Mtizwa also met the same fate.
Then, a piece of pathetic officiating by controversial Benin referee Koffi Codja ensured that Liberia snatched a point. Codja was suspended for poor officiating at the last Afcon finals in Angola in January.
Clearly, Oliseh fouled the Warriors goalkeeper Washington Arubi before squeezing the ball into the nets and the referee let the goal stand. Zimbabwe players protested vehemently at the decision to no avail.
Said Mapeza after the match: “This is a fantastic result from a fantastic performance. They have done the nation proud but the referee was pathetic, pathetic and pathetic.
“We came here looking for a positive result and that is what we delivered. I am proud of the result and the players; they put up a great show.
“The ref must go back to suspension.”
Captain Method Mwanjali also had a few words for the controversial Benin match official.
“This is not football and not fair play at all. We don’t deserve this. For football to go forward in Africa, these referees must be banned.”
W Arubi, N Kaseke, O Bhasera M Mwanjali(captain),T Sweswe, J Majabvi, A Rambanapasi, C Matawu, T Rusike, K Musona and E Sadomba.