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Date: 25 April 2019

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Samba Boys dance past Warriors

[Posted 02 Jun 2010]
Samba Boys dance past Warriors

It was a historic match between the best ranked team in the world and a team trying to crawl back into the top 100 of world footbal at 110, played before a strong 30 000 appreciative crowd at the National Sports stadium in Harare. Brazil overpowered a battling Zimbabwe 0-3.

The South Americans' battle with the Southern Africans started with the home team showing signs of a possible shock lead by Zimbabwe in the First 45 minutes. So enterprising was the Zimbabwean attack that young Knowledge Musona on several occasions danced his way past Lucio and exposed the experienced defender's lack of pace in the opening half. Lucio was forced to concede a corner kick in the 18th minute after Musona had turned him inside out. Zimbabwe appeared in control for the first 25 minutes of the game. Ovidy Karuru missed Zimbabwe's best chance of the game in the 20th minute after outpacing Lucio.

The Warriors continued to search for an opening goal in the first 25 minutes. Musona who proved too hot to handle for the Brazilian defence released a stinging shot which was spectacularly saved by substitute goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who had replaced the injured Julio Caesar. Musona continued to trouble the Brazillian defence until the 30th minute.

Brazil began to really exert their dominance over Zimbabwe after half an hour of play. Zimbabwe's hopes of taking any lead were dashed when Michel Bastos's Roberto Carlos-like free kick flew past Sibanda in the 41st minute. From thereon, Brazil took control of the match. Little wonder that they scored their second goal through Robinho in the 43rd minute. The Half time score was 0-2.

The second half proved difficult for the Warriors team as the Brazilians continued to stamp their authority especially in the center of the park where Zimbabwe's centrl midfield found the going tough. Nengomasha at times fought a lonely battle. Both teams made several substitutions in the second half and Zimbabwe tried to fight back. Yet it was Brazil who went ahead in the 57th minute through the exciting Elano's goal.

While Zimbabwe will be disappointed by failing to at least get a deserved goal, they will take pride in the manner they held their own in the first 40 minutes before crumbling like a deck of cards within a space of 16 minutes in which all Brazil's goals were scored. There will surely be questions around the ommision of Mushekwi from the starting line up. But again, this was a friendly match whose purpose was to try out combinations. Perhaps in future, Mapeza might try to play Musona on the right flank where he will prove more useful, and try to partner Benjani with Mushekwi. Musona's height will prevent him from fully exerting his influence on the game if played as a striker.

After all has been said and done, the Samba Boys did not disappoint on their first visit to Zimbabwe. Yet the Zimbabwean Warriors have absoultely no reason to feel embarrassed by the result. The boys battled like true Warriors in a first half they could have taken the lead on numerous occasions. Besides, this Warriors' team has not been playing together for a long time unlike the Brazilians who have been in camp preparing for the world cup. Mapeza has a basis to work from in preparing the team for the 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers.

It is hoped that the goodwill shown by the corporate world in making the Zimbabwe v Brazil match possible in Harare signals the beginning of a partnership between business and the talented Warriors. This team deserves a chance to prove what it can do for the nation. Come on corporate world, you can help transform this team into a soccer machine which can help put Zimbabwe back on the world map. It will be good for sport, and it will also serve local business better with a spruced up image of the nation!


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