The Zimbabwe Warriors have bitten the dust in their first game of the African Championships in Rwanda.
Zambia’s solitary goal scored by Isaac Chansa sunk the southern Africans, who have performed well in the championships over the years.
ZIFA had set aside $10,000 for the Warriors national soccer squad to share if they beat Chipolopolo.
According to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), veteran Zambian midfielder Chansa was the hero, scoring the only goal to help Zambia to a lone goal victory over Zimbabwe in their Group D clash in Rubavu.
In a report posted on its website, CAF said Chansa scored in the 53rd minute to give the Chipolopolo a winning start to their campaign on their second appearance at the tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues.
CAF said captain Christopher Katongo, who led Zambia to win their only Africa Cup of Nations title in 2012, brought his rich experience to bear on the team just as Chansa, also a member of the victorious team.
It reported that Zimbabwe, making a record fourth appearance just as DR Congo, failed to break the jinx of not having won an opening match at the CHAN competition.
“It was a game of two halves, with Zimbabwe having the upperhand in the first and Zambia, the second. The Southern African derby started with Zimbabwe, making incursions in the opening half and Ronald Chitiyo almost broke the deadlock on 12 minutes, but Zambia goalie Jacob Banda was up to the task.
“The best moment however came just before half time but Warriors forward Edmore Chirambadare missed a sitter with only Banda at his mercy.”
CAF noted that Chipolopolo resumed stronger and Chansa broke the deadlock eight minutes after the break by connecting home a cross from the left. Zimbabwe fought for the equalizer but the closest they came was Chirambadare’s acute shot in the 71st minute, which flew across the face of goal.
Uganda drew 2-2 with Mali in the other Group D match at the same venue. The Warriors’ next game is on January 23rd against Mali.