ZIMBABWE took a giant leap towards securing a semi-final berth at the on-going MOPANI Copa Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships when they ran riot, dismissing Lesotho 4-0 at Shinde Stadium in Mufulira, Zambia yesterday.
A brace by Man of the Match Blessing Nyamuzihwa and a goal each by Tatenda Tumba and Delic Murimba, who took his tally to three at this tournament ensured Zimbabwe seized control of their group
The Young Warriors now need a draw against Angola in their last group match to seal their place in the last four.
Angola who are in action against bottom of the pile Botswana today have a point gained from their opening group match against Lesotho which ended 1-1.
The Young Zebras fell 2-1 to the Young Warriors on Monday and could dent Angola’s hopes if they hold them at Nkana in Kitwe.
Any result which is not a win for the Angolans today will also mean that the Young Warriors will qualify with a group game to spare.
Murimba, whose brace on Monday ensured Zimbabwe had a positive start to their campaign, was the first to register his name on the score sheet just before the break.
Harare City’s Tumba then added the second goal two minutes after the break.
Murimba was, however, substituted in the 61st minute and was replaced by Blessing Sarupinda.
Earlier on Clive Rupiya had come in for Tinotenda Chiunye in the 53rd minute to reinforce their attack.
Nyamuzihwa was on target twice with both his goals coming in the second period.
His first arrived after 64 minutes before he then sealed Zimbabwe’s victory on the stroke of full time.
Tatenda Muringani replaced Takunda Mukunga in the 67th minute.
It was a sweet victory for the Young Warriors after they were held to goalless stalemate by Lesotho last year.
Lesotho then went on to win the group with their momentum driving them all the way to the final where they fell to South Africa.
But it is the Young Warriors who are looking like they have done some homework after some disastrous campaigns in the last few years.
The six-time champions just need to carry the momentum to their last group game on Sunday and their coach Bhekithemba Ndlovu had emphasised prior to the tournament that victory in their opening game was crucial for their confidence.
Bulawayo City coach Ndlovu has now been rewarded by a return of six goals and one conceded in 180 minutes of action so far.