Mapeza’s team victorious

Caretaker coach proves controversial line-up can deliver
BULAWAYO - Norman Mapeza's youthful trial-and-error squad took the nation by surprise when the Zimbabwe Warriors humiliated visiting Malawi 3-1 in an Africa Cup of Nations Group 12 tie played at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunda

Despite the convincing victory over the Flames of Malawi, the Warriors will not qualify for the finals to be hosted by Ghana next year following some impressive showing by Morocco, the group’s log leaders.
But on a positive note, the victory would help Zimbabwe improve on their Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) Coca-Cola and African continental rankings as they are now set to jump five or eight places up the ladder.
Three goals from Kingston Nkata, Method Mwanjali and Richard Mteki was all the newly appointed Zimbabwe caretaker-coach Mapeza needed to see his side end the Nations cup matches in style despite failing to progress to the final.
At least, the Warriors fans had something to smile about after the 90 minutes of regulation time.
Zimbabwe – which is lacking in almost every aspect of life due to economic woes, inflation, food shortages, power cuts, fuel scarcity and unemployment hovering above 80 percent – finally had something to celebrate.
However, Malawi pulled one back through their dependable striker Esau Kanyenda, who powered home a thunderous volley from the box.
But the goal from Kanyenda could not help Malawi’s cause as they found the well-oiled Zimbabwe Warriors on top form, bombarding them from left, right and centre as they salvaged their way to victory.
Zimbabwe, who played as a family, saw the likes of Ovidy Karuru, Nkata, Justice Majabvi and Mteki causing anxious moments to the Flames of Malawi.
The pressure that was exerted against the visitors was quickly translated into goals when Nkata fired home from close range to send an appreciative Zimbabwean crowd into frenzy.
However, the Zimbabwean goal was short-lived when Kanyenda equalised for Malawi a few minutes before half time.
It was some fanciful works on the right flank by Fisher Kondowe, who combined well with Orlando Pirates midfielder Joseph Kamwendo and Moses Chavula, to beat Washington Arubi all systems out in goals for the Warriors.
The goal by the Malawians could not intimidate the Warriors as they came from the break a more rejuvenated and focussed side, bombarding the Flames of Malawi from all angles.
It was just a question of time before the Warriors could start scoring the all-important two goals that gave the nation something to cheer about.
The nation also forgot about the Charles Mhlauri-era, where the players were chosen on the basis of playing abroad, no the skill.
The squad by Mapeza should be given ample time to group together in preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup to be held in South Africa.
Line Ups:
Zimbabwe: W. Arubi, Z. Ngodzo, O. Karuru (A Dzukamanja 39th minute), C. Nhamoinesu, M. Mwanjali, G. Banda, J. Majabvi, M. Moyo, R. Mteki, W. Pakamisa (C. Gomba 79th minute), K. Nkhata.
Malawi: S. Sanudi, J. Kamwendo, (D. Banda 69th minute), F. Kondowe, N. Chilemba, (D. Chirambo 76th minute), J. Sangala, W. Ndlovu, R. N’ngambi, E. Kafoteka, E. Kanyenda, R. Mwafulirwa.

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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