HomeSportSoccerYoung Mighty Warriors bomb out

Young Mighty Warriors bomb out


Zimbabwe . . . . . . . 0
Nigeria . . . . . . . .(2)3
(Nigeria win the tie 6-0 on aggregate)

The Young Mighty Warriors were at their worst as they fell to a classy Nigerian side at Rufaro Stadium yesterday to crash out of the Fifa U-20 Womens World Cup football qualifiers.

Chasing a 3-0 scoreline from the first leg, the hosts had a nightmarish start to the match when they found themselves on the back foot as early as the 10th minute.

After an opening period of sustained pressure, striker Desire Oparanozie was allowed to run through the defence and to coolly shoot past goalkeeper Portia Mukutya.

The Zimbabwe defenders were guilty of the same mistake 15 minutes later when Esther Sunday again took advantage of some slack marking at the back to run through and tap in from close range.

The gulf in quality between the two sides was shown again in the 83th minute when second-half substitute Orji Ebere lobbied the goalkeeper after the defenders had failed to clear a corner kick.

Soina Ngozi was denied by the cross bar midway through the second half and at least three shots were cleared off the line as the Nigerians completely dominated the match.

The Young Mighty Warriors looked out of depth but conjured one good move in the 34th minute when returning Rufaro Machingura and Emmaculate Msipa exchanged passes to release Rudo Neshamba who blazed over from inside the penalty box.

The hosts afternoon went from bad to worse when Rutendo Makore was elbowed into unconsciousness late into the game. She was rushed to hospital on a life-support system but was discharged last night.

Coach Langton Giwa admitted his side was outclassed in all areas of the game.

We were beaten by a better side. We lost concentration in the first 10 minutes and we never recovered. We were giving away possession too easily and Nigeria managed to take advantage, said Giwa.

Nigeria coach Edwin Okon, who stuck to the line-up that won in Abeokuta, said: Zimbabwe were better this time around from the one we faced two years ago.

There is a lot of improvement. What they need to do now is to keep the current team intact for the coming few years. Unfortunately for them today, they were playing a good side.

Zimbabwe: P Mukutya, R Jongoti, D Bhobho, F Chasi, N Bizeki, E Msipa, M Moyo (E Chaparangana, 46mins), M Chirandu (R Madongorere, 58mins), R Neshamba, R Makore (R Gora, 85mins), Rufaro Machingura.
Nigeria: W Ibubeleye, N Ugo, G Ofoegbu, C Nku, J Chukwunonye, J Osawaru, C Ogbenyealu, F Ordega, D Oparanozie (L Oshoala, 83mins), S Ngozi, E Sunday (O Ebere, 46mins)

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