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Warriors lose 4-5 to Namibia, crash out of CHAN

24/07/2017 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
 
Not happy with preparations ... Sunday Chidzambwa
 
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ZIMBABWE cracked under the weight of expectations to lose a dramatic penalty shoot out 4-5 against Namibia and crash out of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The Warriors were left with all to do after being beaten 1-0 in the first leg in Windhoek, Namibia two weeks back. And on Sunday they needed to win by two clear goals.

After a nervy start in which the visitors dominated the first 20 minutes, Prince Dube gave Sunday Chidzambwa’s men hope at the stroke of the first half, breaching the Namibia defence before beating Namibia goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua hope with a low shot.

In the second half, the Warriors - missing several players due to forced changes including skipper Ocean Mushure and star forward Talent Chawapiwa - poured forward in search of the goal that could have taken them to the final qualifying round.

However, it proved stubbornly elusive and ultimately it ended all square at 1-1 on aggregate which meant the match proceeded to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

Warriors goalkeeper Herbert Rusawo, a regular penalty taker at his club Black Rhinos, shot meekly at goal and it was saved by the Namibia goalkeeper which proved costly for the hosts as Devon Chafa, Milton Ncube, Praise Tonha and stand in captain Dennis Dauda had done well to convert their spot kicks.

Namibia converted all their spot kicks through Petrus Chitembi, that man Hendrick Somaeb, scorer of the only goal in the first leg, Dynamo Fredricks, Tiberius Lombard and Immanuel Heita.

Chidzambwa said his charges played well despite the defeat considering the forced changes to his squad.

“I thought we played reasonably well considering that we had forced changes. We had Ocean Mushure and Gerald Takwara who were injured and Talent Chawapiwa who went to his new home in South Africa.

“We also didn’t have much time to prepare for this game. We just had Friday to train as full a squad and, in these tournaments, you need more time to prepare.

“Our opponents have been in camp for a very long time. We also only had just two players who played at the Cosafa tournament.”

His counterpart Ricardo Maneti was happy to sail through to the next round but counted himself lucky to overcome Zimbabwe.

“In my pre-match, I said we expect Zimbabwe to come at us like they did in the first leg. And they came at us but we were prepared,” said Maneti.



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“After they scored their goal I told the players not to drop their heads and stick to the game plan. It’s not every day that you beat a strong team like Zimbabwe.”


 
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