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Date: 12 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Young Warriors sail through in All Africa Games

[Posted 23 Jan 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Zim Under 23 have qualified for the first round of the All Africa Games

The Zimbabwe Under 23 team qualified for the First round of the All Africa Games Zone VI qualifiers on an aggregate of 4-3 over Zambia following a 1-1 home draw at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.

The Young Warriors were  3-2 away victors from the first leg of the preliminary round of qualifiers played in Lusaka two weeks ago. A draw was enough to see the Friday Phiri coached outfit sail through to the next round.

Talented young midfielder, Denver Mukamba, who was recently included in the final CHAN squad released earlier this past week, scored the opening goal in the 26th minute to give the Zimbabweans a lead. The Zambians replied through substitute Lewis Macha in the 69th minute.

The opening goal was a result of the Young Warriors' superiority in midfield, where Archieford Gutu and Mukamba showed some delightful understanding and combination. 

Gutu, a ball of fire through out for the Zambians, won possession in midfield, subtracted about two opponents and laid an inviting pass to Mukamba who obliged by slotting it past a bemused Allan Chibwe, in goals for the visitors.

Macha benefited from a goal mouth melee to stab home the Zambians' equaliser in the 69th minute. Complacency appeared to have crept into the Zim young turks, and their sloppy marking was punished by the visitors.

The introduction of bustling striker Matthew Rusike of Jomo Cosmos in South Africa's First Division Inland Stream steadied things for the Zimbabweans towards the end of the match.

A few more chances were created, and like what was seen in the first half, chances were wasted by the likes of Gutu, Qadr Amin and chief striker Simba Sithole.

Rusike himself missed what looked like a seater in the 80th minute from the inform Gutu.

The Zimbabweans are joined into the first round by other neighbours, Botswana, whose soccer is definitely on the rise.

The young Zebras will be the Young Warriors' next opponents, following their 2-1 aggregate win over Swaziland. They drew 1-1 with the Swazis at home on Sunday, following a 1-0 away victory in the first leg.

If the Zim Under 23 team negotiate their way past the stubborn young Zebras, they will qualify for the second and final round of qualifiers for Maputo 2011 All Africa Games finals.

Only one successful team from each of Africa's seven zones/regions will win the ticket to the All Africa Games finals to be held  in Mozambique between 3-18 September 2011.

Zimbabwe's notable success came in 1995, when the Young Warriors team, the class of Peter Ndlovu, Methembe Ndlovu (not related), Alois Bunjira, Stewart Murisa, Chamu Musanhu among others, qualified for the finals at home, only to fall 3-1 to Egypt.

Zimbabwe will be hoping to do better than what they have don in the past years. Qualifying for the finals has proved to be elusive to the Zimbabwean Under 23 team on previous occasions.

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