Zim thrash Mauritius
Mauritius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Zimbabwe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2) 4
ZIMBABWE’S Warriors were too powerful for hosts Mauritius when they hammered the Indian Ocean Islanders in the first leg of the Africa Nations Championships qualifier at the Auguste Vollaire Stadium in Flacq yesterday.
The strength of the Mauritius team could not be immediately established after they also fielded a football team in the Indian Ocean Islands Games which reached the final against Reunion on Sunday.
That match ended 1-1 with Reunion goalkeeper Mathieu Pelops saving all five penalties in the shoot-out which his team won 1-0.
The Warriors, who are hunting for a record fifth appearance at the tournament to be hosted by Cameroon next year, got off to a strong start courtesy of goals by Nqobizita Masuku, Never Tigere and a brace by Leeroy Mavhunga.
The Warriors went ahead after 19 minutes after Tigere’s shot went in via a deflection from teammate Nqobizitha Masuku.
Mavhunga ensured the Zimbabweans had a healthy lead going to the breather with his 44th minute strike.
Tigere scored midway through the second half before Mavhunga sealed the win with another late goal in the 87th minute, his third for his country in the last two games.
The match, which was supposed to be played on Sunday at the New King George V Stadium in Curepipe, was moved to a new venue yesterday after incessant rains made the pitch at the original venue unplayable.
The win ensured the Warriors will head into the second leg scheduled for Barbourfields this weekend with a healthy lead.
It was also a big lift for the Zimbabweans who are still trying to recover from the hangover of the failed AFCON campaign which later resulted in the resignation of head coach Sunday Chidzambwa last week, just two days after beginning the CHAN preparations.
The team is currently under the tutelage of interim coaches Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa.
Zimbabwe: Talbert Shumba, Ian Nekati, Xolani Ndlovu, Partson Jaure, Peter Muduwa, Nqobizitha Masuku, Richard Hachiro (P. Bamusi), Leeroy Mavunga, Malvin Gaki (E. Katema), Never Tigere, Clive Augusto (P. Dube)