The Young Warriors of Zimbabwe have put themselves in a very difficult position in their 2017 Africa Youth Championship campaign.
This follows their goalless home draw against the Young Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the National Sports Stadium yesterday which put them in a tight position ahead of the return leg in Yaounde in two
The Young Warriors now need an outright win or a scoring draw in Yaounde where no Zimbabwean team in all forms of football has won a game since Zimbabwe was admitted to international sport in 1980.
In fact, Zimbabwe had to thank the heroics of young Ngezi Platinum Stars goalkeeper Nelson Chadya who made numerous brilliant saves otherwise the story could have been different.
Young Warriors coach Jairos Tapera cried foul over shoddy preparations for his team’s mediocre performance before a pathetic crowd despite the game going for a dollar.
“Imagine that we had only three days to train. In fact, they are not three but two because there is one day that we did not train due to other issues. These guys were in camp for two months and played international friendlies,” said Tapera.
Tapera said he had to use his own transport to look for players, some of whom trained for only 30 minutes and describes the working conditions as pathetic.
“We are working in an environment that is killing us. Its pathetic,” said Tapera.
However, the Young Indomitable Lions coach, Cyprian Bessong Ashu, thinks the job is half done saying they will finish off the Young Warriors back at home.
“We go back having 0-0 away. We go home to make corrective play. We created too many chances but we were a bit shoddy in our preparation. But a draw away is good,” said Ashu.
The goalless draw is not ideal for Zimbabwe but in football anything is possible.
In the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, FC Platinum extended their lead at the top of the table to five points after a 3-0 hammering of Border Strikers at Mandava Stadium.
A double strike from Obrey Chirwa, and another from Elvis Moyo have seen FC Platinum move to 19 points, four ahead of both Highlanders and Caps United who are on 14 points.
Caps United had to come from two goals down to settle for a two-all draw against a well-oiled ZPC Kariba side coached by former Warriors mentor Sunday Chidzambwa.
CHIDZAMBWA A HAPPY COACH
Although Caps United dropped two crucial home points, their coach Lloyd Chitembwe said he is not worried about the points lost but is happy with the overall performance of his team.
“It’s not a draw at home. It’s about the whole performance of the team. Personally, I am happy with the way the team performed,” said Chitembwe.
Chidzambwa said a point garnered away from home is very crucial in their fight for the league title after coming second in 2014.
“It’s a point away from home. We will take it to Kariba, and we will take it from there,” said Chidzambwa.
Former champions Highlanders failed to take advantage of the Caps United slip when they were also held to a draw, a 1-1 by visiting Harare City.
On their part, Dynamos picked up their second win of the season after a 1-0 win over Tsholotsho Pirates in coach Lloyd Mutasa’s second game in charge.
A first half penalty conversion from defender Ocean Mushure was all Dembare needed to move to eight points and 12th on the league table.
GOOD WELCOME FOR CHICKEN INN COACH
Defending champions Chicken Inn also gave new coach Rahman Gumbo a good welcome with a 3-1 drubbing of Mutare City Rovers at Sakubva Stadium.
Goals from Edmore Chirambadare, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, and George Majika, saw the Game Corks secure the maximum points and breathe a sigh of relief after two consecutive defeats.
In cricket news, Southern Rocks thumped Western Tigers by 116 runs to reach the Provincial League final.
The Masvingo side will now face Centrals who on their part also hammered Power Turbines by 345 runs at Bindura Sports Club. The two will meet in the final on May 28th.