Warriors sail through

TEN men Zimbabwe Warriors are through to the final round of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals after edging out a battling Burundi 1-0 at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Knowledge Musona
Knowledge Musona

The Zimbabweans had to play with 10 men after star midfielder, Willard Katsande, was red carded in the 28th minute for head butting an opponent and will not take part in the remaining qualifiers which will be played in September and October.

Zimbabwe had Knowledge Musona once again to thank after the striker grabbed the all-important goal in the 37th minute to give the unusually small crowd something to cheer about.

The goal saw Zimbabwe through to the next round on the away goals rule after the Warriors were beaten 2-1 in Bujumbura, but that precious goal also scored by Musona has proved vital.

The Warriors will join 13 other qualifiers who will be drawn against the 16 teams that were at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon and the Equatorial Guinea to determine which teams make the journey to South Africa.

The 15 winners from those two legged matches will then join the hosts at the football festival.

Coach Rahman Gumbo will be the first to admit that his team was a disappointing lot as they could not string passes together.

Against Burundi who are minnows, the Warriors should have come up with a bagful of goals.

Instead, it was the visitors who appeared to play better, creating chances which unfortunately they could not convert into goals.

Gumbo made some changes, with Rodwell Chinyengetere starting alongside Musona instead of Takesure Chinyama.

Gumbo boasted that he was not scared of any opponents, saying his team is ready even to face the likes of Ivory Coast and Ghana.

However, a reflection on the Warriors’ performance against Burundi will no doubt show that the team is still way behind in comparison to the best on the continent.

The Zimbabweans are playing too much individualistic football and their unhealthy reliance on Musona for goals could prove disastrous against future opponents should the German-based striker be marked out of the game or is out injured.

There is still time between now and the resumption of qualifiers in September, and the Warriors need to play a number of friendly matches to come up with a reliable striking combination for at the moment, Gumbo does not seem to have the ideal partner for Musona.

Post published in: Football

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