France-based midfielder Ovidy Karuru missed what was supposed to be the match winner for Zimbabwe in a 2014 World Cup qualifier match against Mozambique at Estadio Nacional de Zimpeto yesterday.
The visitors dominated the match which they could have easily won and their only scare came in the 85th minute when Pelembe of Maxaquenes point blank shot was saved by Tapuwa Kapini.
But the talking point of this match was Karurus blunder that denied Zimbabwe the chance to resuscitate their World Cup campaign which is fast faltering. The draw away from home was an impressive result, but the opening match defeat to Guinea might come to haunt the Warriors as the campaign progresses.
After the match, coach Rahman Gumbo branded Karuru a let down to the team and nation, following his horror judgment.
Karuru, who was stretchered off the pitch five minutes into the second half due to an abdominal injury, surprisingly chose to square the ball in the 41st minute when he was supposed to have taken aim at goal.
He had broken loose in the centre after a pass from Knowledge Musona, but with the goalkeeper to beat, the pencil slim midfielder was afraid of taking responsibility and squared the ball back to Musona who was marked in the penalty box.
It was easier to chip the ball over the keeper or place the ball rather than Karurus shocking decision.
The chance went begging together with three valuable points.
Earlier in the game, Musona missed an opportunity for the visitors in the 11th minute when he failed to stab the ball home after a goalmouth action following a free kick by Oscar Machapa.
Musonas striking partner Takesure Chinyama had a half chance three minutes later when he capitalised on an error by a Mozambican defender on the right flank, but his full blooded shot was coolly stopped by the Ferroviario goalminder Pinto.
Zimbabwe had yet another opportunity in the 52nd minute when Musona broke loose on the left before he roasted a defender and unselfishly passed the ball to Chinyama in the centre, but the big Dynamos forward was not anticipating the ball and it rolled out.
Gumbos men continued to dominate the game, but the goals just did not come.
Gumbo said after the match: We managed to contain them considering that we were playing away. Defenders did their part, but we created chances that we failed to put away.
We created no less than three realistic chances that we failed to put away. I think Im just unlucky because my boys are playing well, but the goals are not coming.
Karuru let the team down and the nation. He should have scored that ball instead of passing. If I was one of his team mates I was going to kill him, he said.
For drawing with the Mambas, the team received $25 000 from sponsors Mbada Diamonds.
Zimbabwe: T Kapini, E Nyandoro, C Nyadombo, O Bhasera, O Machapa, T Nengomasha, W Katsande, V Nyoni, O Karuru (D Mukamba 45th min), K Musona (K Billiat 87th min), T Chinyama ( T Mandaza 61th min)
Mozambique: Pinto, Zidan, Aguiiar Chico, Mexer (Pelembe 45th min), Paito, Whisky, Simao, Dominguez, Jojo Telinho, Miro, Jerry(Rueben 79th min)