Warriors in poor start

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Isaac Chansa of Zambia fouls Farai Madhananga of Zimbabwe during the 2016 CHAN football match between Zimbabwe and Zambia at the Rubavu Stadium in Rubavu, Rwanda on 19 January 2016 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

ZAMBIAN veteran forward, Isaac Chansa, summoned his wealth of experience to decide a tight contest against wasteful neighbours, Zimbabwe with a solitary strike in a Group D African Nations Championship opener at Umganda Stadium in Rwanda yesterday.

BY SPORTS REPORTER

Chansa, a winner of the 2012 African Cup of Nations with Zambia, profited from a wonderful delivery from the left by fellow veteran, skipper Chris Katongo, to beat the badly exposed Zimbabwean goalkeeper Bernard Donovan in the 59th minutes.

Katongo (33), who skippered Zambia to Nations Cup glory against a star-studded Ivory Coast in 2012, threw age out of the window, dictating the pace yesterday.

Yet, it was the Warriors, who showed lots of verve and brio in the first half, carving out good chances, only to be let down by poor finishing.

Isaac Chansa of Zambia fouls Farai Madhananga of Zimbabwe during the 2016 CHAN football match between Zimbabwe and Zambia at the Rubavu Stadium in Rubavu, Rwanda on 19 January 2016 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Isaac Chansa of Zambia fouls Farai Madhananga of Zimbabwe during the 2016 CHAN football match between Zimbabwe and Zambia at the Rubavu Stadium in Rubavu, Rwanda on 19 January 2016 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo unleashed a powerful shot early on, which the Zambian goalie did well to palm away, as Zimbabwe appeared the hungrier side.

Warriors striker, Knox Mutizwa also missed a headed opportunity 22 minutes into the game.

But it was Edmore Chirambadare who missed what probably was Zimbabwe’s best opportunity, directing his effort wide, with the goalkeeper to beat, after he was set up by Mutizwa with a threaded pass.

In the second half, the Warriors played second fiddle to their opponents.

They were always second to the ball, allowing Zambia to boss them in midfield.

Chitiyo had an effort cleared off the line at the start of the second half.

Zambia had their first corner of the match in the 51st minute, as they pressed for the much-needed goal. Chipolopolo forward, Mwelwa Mwape watched his brilliant free kick miss the target by a few inches as Zambia began to press for a goal.

Warriors Chipolopolo Chan

The goal came in the 59th minute through Chansa, who summoned his experience to bury the ball home with the Warriors defence guilty of ball watching.

Warriors coach, Kalisto Pasuwa, desperate to find an equaliser, pulled out midfielder Gerald Takwara, replacing him with Roderick Mutuma, but it failed to pay dividends, with Chirambadare missing another opportunity, directing his effort wide with 18 minutes to play.

Pasuwa threw in Marshal Mudehwe in the 80th minute for Chirambadare, but Zambia held on to victory.

Zimbabwe will look back at yesterday’s match with frustration, as they could have easily ended it as a contest in the first half.

They will look forward with confidence and hope, as they date Mali on Saturday, in what will be a must-win encounter if they are to keep alive their hopes of progressing further in this tournament.

Teams

Zimbabwe: Donovan Bernard, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Lawrence Mhlanga, Elisha Muroiwa, Ocean Mushure, Farai Madhanaga, Gerald Takwara (Roderick Mutuma 72), Ronald Chitiyo, Knox Mutizwa, Edmore Chirambadare (Marshal Mudehwe) and Francesco Zekumbawira

Zambia: Jacob Banda, Daut Musekwa, Stephen Kabamba, Buchzya Mfune, Adrian Chama, Clatous Chama, Isaac Chansa (Conlyde Luchanga 59), Jackson Chirwa, Sululani Phiri, Mwelwa Mwape (Spencer Sautu) and Christopher Katongo

3 COMMENTS

  1. All hope is not lost but why should we always be having calculators for permutations when our teams go for international tournaments? Are we cursed? Why is it always a game of “ifs” and “thens”? Am hurt. We should just have beaten that Zambian team, or at least drawn. We were ripped apart by someone who was drawn from an “old players’ home”?

  2. how did you expect to win when Magaya’s marmaid were waiting to create populality from a win and Chiyangwa was waiting to pocket the Cash $$$$$ .

  3. @Fury what have you yourself done for the nation as individual except to speak and write rubbish about those who are at least doing something. You are the idiots who stalls progress in our nation because you are only there to pass negative comments with no action. Cursed are people like you.

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