Zimbabwe’s Warriors succumbed to a late penalty against Zambia at the new Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola last night in an international friendly match to go down 2-1 despite a spirited second half performance.
The Zambians took the lead in the 34th minute through Jimmy Chisenga before Nelson Mazivisa finished off a Rodwell Chinyengetere move to level the scores in the 68th minute. The hosts were, however, awarded a penalty in the 80th minute that Joseph Sitali converted.
Warriors coach Rahman Gumbo said despite the loss, he was happy with the performance shown by goalkeeper Arial Sibanda and the twin centrebacks, Innocent Mapuranga and Partson Jaure.
“I was not happy though with the penalty. I think home advantage worked in their favour,’ he said in the post match interview.
Zambia coach Herve Renard had hinted before the match that he would field a lot of youngsters with a view to preparing for the 2014 Orange African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifiers.
“I know that people want to win all the time but we are playing to prepare for the future,” said Renard.
“We have to build something for the future. We cannot always rely on senior players to win games for the Chipolopolo. One day Christopher Katongo will retire, we need players who can take his place in future.
“The most important thing is how the young players will respond to the pressure of playing for the national team,” he stated.
lMeanwhile, the Mighty Warriors continued their dominance over regional rivals Shepolopolo of Zambia winning 5-0 in an international friendly yesterday.
The match was the curtain raiser to the men’s match. The Mighty Warriors opened the scoring through Nokuthula Ndlovu who headed home a Felista Muzongondi corner 40 seconds from the breather.
Rudo Neshamba made it two up on the hour before Rutendo Makore rose from the bench to register her name on the scoresheet to make it 3-0.
Makore was back again to haunt Shepolopolo when she completed her brace after coolly slotting home a Sikhululekile Nyoni cross.
Neshamba was also back to complete her brace after getting to the end of a Muzongondi through pass to make it five for the Mighty Warriors, giving their vice-chairperson Cecelia Malunda a fitting 62nd birthday present.
Zimbabwe men’s team: Ariel Sibanda, Passmore Bernard, Khumbulani Banda, Partson Jaure, Innocent Mapuranga, Brian Mapfumo, Mandla Sibanda, Danny Phiri, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Francisco Zvikumbawire, Denver Mukamba
Subs: Jani, Chigova, Sibanda, Chitiyo, Matizanadzo, Moyo, Zabula, Mazivisa, Kangwa, Kutsanzira.