Home / Sports / Egypt here we Khama

Egypt here we Khama

ZIMBABWE . . . . . . . . . . (2) 2

CONGO BRAZZAVILLE . . . 0

AFTER spurning two opportunities to seal a ticket to the Egypt finals with some games to spare, the Warriors finally completed the job at the last throw of the qualification dice yesterday.

During a period in which the country was plunged into mourning after hundreds of people perished due to the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai, the Warriors fittingly chose a perfect occasion to cheer the spirits of millions of Zimbabweans.

For long regarded as the nearly men of African football, the Warriors, chose a grand occasion to demystify the myth.

They soaked all the pressure before a heaving National Sports Stadium filled to capacity to overcome Congo Brazzaville and secure the ticket to the African of Nations finals scheduled for Egypt in June as group winners.

Not since the days of Reinhard Fabisch’s Dream Team squad has Zimbabweans from all walks of life packed the Stadium to support the national team cause.

Congo Brazzaville were here in 1991 for a similar mission and left Zimbabweans heartbroken when they forced a draw to qualify for the finals at the expense of the Warriors who needed a win for what would have been their maiden appearance at the tournament.

This time around, Congo arrived seeking an out-right victory while the Warriors needed at least a draw to qualify.

However, Congo found this group of Warriors difficult to break down and in the end it was Zimbabwe who booked the ticket to the finals, their fourth appearance at the biennial soccer tournament.

More importantly it is the first time that they have qualified on two successive occasions.

The Warriors showed a lot of verve from kick off as they launched several raids into their opponents goal area.

Marshall Munetsi earned a free kick outside the penalty area after he was illegally brought down by Marvin Bandry as he charged towards goal.

Khama Billiat, showing conviction and panache stepped up to take responsibility and as the nation held its breath, he curled a brilliant free kick that left goalkeeper Wolfrigon Mongoudza rooted to the spot. The goal sent the stadium into delirium.

It will perhaps be unfair to blame the goalkeeper for that goal. He was a victim of a well-calculated deceit.

Earlier on, Congo had missed a good opportunity when Junior Mak beat Tendai Darikwa on the left but Vinny Ibra was guilty of a miss.

Before the visitors had even recovered, Knowledge Musona, who had to pass a late fitness test, doubled the lead on 35 minutes almost from nothing.

The Warriors captain stole the ball from defender Fernando Mayembo before unleashing a rasping shot to sew up the contest.

In the second half, the visitors tried to hit back but the Warriors remained resolute.

Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambga was happy with the result. We played against a great side. It was a very tough match. We observed that they wanted to press us on the flanks and used high balls which they didn’t do in the reverse fixture in Congo. We defended well and scored two goals from the two chances we created. But in the second half they created problems for us and we realised our players were tired and decided to close shop. In football sometimes it is important that you play for results not to entertain and we played for results. I am happy we qualified. I want to thank the supporters. We dedicate this victory to the victims of Cyclone Idai,” Chidzambga said.

His counterpart Valdo Filho accepted defeat, but pointed out his charges missed several opportunities.

“Congratulations to Zimbabwe. They are deserved winners, but the difference was that they scored early and took their chances and we did not. We created good opportunities, but we failed to put them away,” he said.

to take responsibility and as the nation held its breath, he curled a brilliant free kick that left goalkeeper Wolfrigon Mongoudza rooted to the spot. The goal sent the stadium into delirium.

It will perhaps be unfair to blame the goalkeeper for that goal. He was a victim of a well-calculated deceit.

Earlier on, Congo had missed a good opportunity when Junior Mak beat Tendai Darikwa on the left but Vinny Ibra was guilty of a miss.

Before the visitors had even recovered, Knowledge Musona, who had to pass a late fitness test, doubled the lead on 35 minutes almost from nothing.

The Warriors captain stole the ball from defender Fernando Mayembo before unleashing a rasping shot to sew up the contest.

In the second half, the visitors tried to hit back but the Warriors remained resolute.

Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambga was happy with the result. We played against a great side. It was a very tough match. We observed that they wanted to press us on the flanks and used high balls which they didn’t do in the reverse fixture in Congo. We defended well and scored two goals from the two chances we created. But in the second half they created problems for us and we realised our players were tired and decided to close shop. In football sometimes it is important that you play for results not to entertain and we played for results. I am happy we qualified. I want to thank the supporters. We dedicate this victory to the victims of Cyclone Idai,” Chidzambga said.

His counterpart Valdo Filho accepted defeat, but pointed out his charges missed several opportunities.

“Congratulations to Zimbabwe. They are deserved winners, but the difference was that they scored early and took their chances and we did not. We created good opportunities, but we failed to put them away,” he said.

Source : NewsDay

Check Also

Ndiraya Keen On Local Talent

DESPITE casting his net wider to look for Diaspora-based players, Zimbabwe Under-23 coach Tonderai Ndiraya …

error: Content is protected !!