Warriors, Chipolopolo fire blanks
Zimbabwe . . . 0 Zambia . . . . 0
HARARE-(NEWSDAY)-ZAMBIA coach Wedson Nyirenda praised the Warriors’ hearty show after the two neighbours played out a goalless draw in a friendly international football match at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Former Warriors coach Norman Mapeza was making a return to the national team since taking charge during the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
He didn’t disappoint with a commendable performance despite having assembled the team at short notice. His counterpart was quick to praise Mapeza and his charges.
“I think we had a very good game today. Zimbabwe gave us a good run. They played very good and organised football. We would like to thank Norman Mapeza for coming up with a team at short notice that could sustain our pressure. My team played good football. We had a million of chances, but they couldn’t take the responsibility of finishing. We could have scored. Overall it was a very good game in terms of our preparations for the Chan and Afcon qualifiers in June,” Nyirenda said.
Mapeza, who was appointed on a temporary basis for the Zambia match as Zifa seek a substantive a coach, said he was satisfied with his team performance.
“I am happy with the performance. The players worked very hard despite the fact that we are in off-season. We faced challenges in terms of attack, but they need time. I believe we have got good strikers. This is why I had called (Tendai Ndoro and Evans Rusike). I needed their experience,” Mapeza said.
Zambia had goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, as the only foreign-based player in the squad.
Mapeza fielded only home-based players after Ndoro and Rusike failed to turn up. Most of the players were drawn from Caps United and Ngezi Platinum who were involved in Confederation of African Football competitions.
Zimbabwe had their best chance in the 37th minute after Ronald Chitiyo rounded one man, but his shot was saved by the keeper.
On 80 minutes goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda unnecessarily moved out of his line allowing Jackson Mwanza to beat Partson Jaure and fire the ball towards goal, but an alert Dennis Dauda cleared the ball out of danger.
Sibanda, however, ensured a share of the spoils with a super save towards the end after a fierce shot by Mwanza.
Zimbabwe line up: E Sibanda, Q Amin, P Jaure, D Dauda, G Murwira, W Mhango (D Chafa 49), L Chakoroma, (S Ndlovu 81), R Chinyengetere (R Manuvire 65), T Dzukamanja (M Mambare 84 min), R Chitiyo, P Dube