In the Battle of the WARRIORS last night, The Desert Warriors came top of the Warriors during a much anticipated fight at 5 July 1962 Stadium, Algiers which Poured more pain to Zimbabwe as a country when the Football fratenity was called to Join the Social Family into Mourning when their Beloved team, WARRIORS fall succumped to a 3-1 defeat in the hands of The Desert Warriors in the 2022 AFCON QUALIFIERS.
Zimbabwe created more clear chances compared to their opponents but the reflective of the score line says otherwise as goals from Baghdad Bounedjah, Sofiane Feghouli and their Skipper Riyad Mahrez ensured that Algeria cemented their place at the top of the group.
The 1st chance of the match fall to Zimbabwe talismatic and prolific goal scorer as far as Afcon Qualifiers are concerned, Khama Billiat but the forward to his disbelief saw his shot saved from close range just like the repeat of what happened in 2017 when the 2 teams met in Gabon. Minutes later the Zimbabwe warriors were awarded a freekick from from the left wing and the Skipper took it and again another Glorious oppotunity was wasted by France based inform Lyon Striker Tino Kadewere who headed wide a free header with the goal at his mess.
The Algerians grew into the match and the warriors were defending most of the time until the 29th minute when they started shot and promising passes from the right flank. It was that time when the England based midfielder was dispossed and against the run of play, Sofiane Feghouli’s drive was punched into the path of Baghdad Bounedjah who slotted home the opener by Zimbabwe Goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze Nicknamed DRC because of such errors.
After that goal the Algerians started dictating the pace for the match and it did not take much time for them to find the second of the match through Sofiane Feghouli’s header from a Riyad Mahrez cross after poor marking by Divine Lunga who allowed Mahrez to make a run from the corner flag.
It was 2-o to the desert warriors at halftime and during halftime, Elvis Chipezeze (DRC) was dropped for Talbert Shumba and we are not sure whether it was a tactical change or injury forced because just before the halftime whistle there was a collission between Zimbabwe’s number 1 and Algeria’s Centre forward.
Just like the 1st half, the 1st decent chance of the game fall in the path of Tino Kadewere who failed to beat the keeper on a 1 on 1 situation from a Khama Billiat flick. During those moments, Zimbabweans were believing because their team were attacking more than the Algerians but it was Algeria who striked 1st through their Captain who took matters in his own hands from a lose ball and drive past 4 Zimbabwe defenders to slot home over the advancing substitute goalkeeper Talbert Shumba who had nothing much to do aparrt from conceding that goal.
The Zimbabwe Coach Zdravko Logarusic (LOGA) made changes bringing on Kuda Mahachi, David Moyo, Tafadzwa Rusike for Jordan Zemura, Khama Billiat and Ovidy Karuru and Zimbabwe managed to find a consolotion from Kadewere when the ball was played in his path by Skipper Knowledge Musona who did not play according to expectations.
What pained supporters more is the fact that, Algeria goals were similar to Zimbabwe misses. The first Algeria goal was same as the first Zimbabwe missed chance by Khama Billiat and the second for Algeria was a free header which was also similar to Tino’s earlier miss. So Zimbabwe Warriors need to be clinical infront of goal.
Meanwhile Jordan Zemura had a decent run on his debut game for warriors and the same applied to right back Darikwa who surely played with his heart even though he was late to react to Chipezeze’s spill for the 1st Algerian goal.
The inclussion of Ovidy Karuru in the 1st 11 was questionable considering that he is clubless and wasn’t fit for the match and to went on and play 60 minutes left every football fan unhappy expect his sympathisers. He did not put much contribution to the team to make matters even worse.
Zimbabwe lacked a creative player and Algerians were commanding the midfield battle and that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Nakamba was not good enough maybe he is used to play double pivot that’s why every supporter is wishing Munetsi to be available for the return match but it does not look so because when we contacted ZIFA spokesperson Mr Gwesela, he said “Munetsi is in France he wasn’t released by his team.”
Disgrantled fans on whatsapp and twitter were saying they did not expect to see Chipezeze back in the Warrios fold after the DRC blunders and also Karuru, Billiat and Musona are beyong their peak and it’s time to start looking for fresh blood to blend beforfe it’s too late. The names that are appearing on Social media especially from the Zimbabwe Foreign Legion (ZFL) are Reading’s Andy Rinomhota, Maccaulley Bonne of QPR, Fabisch, Statham, Munjoma Benyu, Ruzvidzo, Rushesha to mention a few. They believed Zemura played well despite his age and they expect to see more youngsters joining the National Team. Also Mapisa is the other name that came out as far as Goalkeeping department is concerned.
Next game is on Monday 16th November 2020 at the National Sports Stadium in Harare at 1500hrs CAT
EXPECTED 1st 11 on Monday, 4-4-2
Darikwa, Chicksen, Hadebe, Zemura
Nakamba Rusike Musona Mahachi
Meanwhile Zambia Collected their first set of points for the qualifiers when thewy overcame Botswana and are now a point behind our beloved warriors and from the remaining games, no slip up is needed if we want to Qualify for the showpiece in Cameroon.
GO WARRIORS GO