Zimbabwe Warriors Move Up The Nations Cup Ladder

Goals from Willard Kastande, Ovidy Karuru and Khama Billiart, were enough to send the Zimbabwean football public celebrating after the 90 minutes of play.

Zimbabwe’s Warriors are now second on eight points, one point behind new leaders Mali who beat overnight leaders Cape Verde in Bamako on Saturday. The Warriors now hope that Mali beat Liberia in their last game while the Warriors on their part beat Cape Verde away from home.

The Confederation of African Football has done away with the goal aggregate rule and this time if the teams end with the same number of points, the head to head rule will count. Unfortunately, only the winners from this group will qualify as the second placed team cannot reach the points that team from other groups have reached.

The biggest disappointment of the day was former CAPS United player Gilbert Mapamba. Mapemba could not control the ball, and when in possession lost that ball unnecessarily, giving rise to the general opinion that the coaches should have given the chance to youngster Tapuwa Khumbuyani.

Even Khama Billiart who was expected to take over as Zimbabwe’s protagonist following the non availability of Knowledge Musona was nowhere to be seen. Although he scored the third goal, it was Karuru who became the man of the show.

Despite the high gate charges, there was a huge appearance at the National Sports Stadium which should make the Zimbabwe Football Association happy as they were using this match to raise funds to pay the player bonuses on top of other expenses. Zifa does not have a sponsor and relies on gate takings for survival.

Captain Method Mwanjali had to be taken off after injuring himself in an aerial tussle and had to be replaced by Archieford Gutu.

Although Zimbabwe won against Liberia’ Lone Star, their chances of qualifying for the next edition of the Nations Cup are still hanging by a thread as Mali are expected to beat Liberia in their last game of the campaign to sail through to the finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

The Warriors have not qualified for the past two African Cup of Nations finals having been there in 2004 and 2006. The Warriors play Cape Verde in their last game on October 9, and need an outright win to know whether they will be going to the finals or not.