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Date: 22 March 2019

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Young Warriors hold Botswana

[Posted 15 Apr 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Gutu was sent off as Zimbabwe fought to draw 2-all away in Botswana in an All Africa Games qualifer

The Zimbabwe Under 23 national soccer team was stretched to the limit on a Friday afternoon at Molepolole Sports Complex in Gaborone when they were forced to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with their Botswana counterparts in an All-Africa Games 1st round qualifier.

The Young Warriors however had to finish the enocunter with 9 players after their star attacking midfielders Archieford Gutu and Denver Mukamba were shown red cards by  referee Simanga Nhleko from Swaziland for various offences.

Botswana drew first blood in the 14th minute through Kgololelo Letseane who benefited from Arial Sibanda's failure to effectively deal with a strike from a Young Zebras player. His attempt to punch back a strike only presented Letseane with a chance to hit the mark to give the hosts the lead.

The ever green CAPS United marksman Simba Sithole restored parity in the 30th minute after a good build up from the Young Warriors' midfield.

Just a few minutes later, the home side went ahead through a goal from Kgalabogwe Kgoyana, who beat a poorly positioned Sibanda.

Botswana went to half time leading 2-1.

After resumption Zimbabwe quickly forced an error in the home-side's box, resulting in a defender clearly handling, and Nhleko awarded the visitors a penalty kick. Mukamba stepped up to send the keepr the wrong way to bring Zim on level teerms again.

Mukamba however missed a very easy chance to put the Young Warriors ahead, when he chose to be over elaborate and toy around with the ball, allowing the opposition to recover and avert the danger.

The young man certainly needs good advice from coaches before he destroys an otherwise promising soccer career. Mukamba has been often accused of carrying himself around as a super star on the field of play, and sometimes opts for the sophisticated way of doing things over the simple task required.

Mukamba turned on a double villain act when he needlessly remonstrated with the refree after a free kick was awarded against his team. And for all his troubles, he was shown a redcard.

Gutu was very unfortunate to have been adjudged to have fouled a goalkeeper on a tricky collision course which was difficult for him to avoid, and he too was sent for an early shower.

Zimbabwe will need good replacements for the two star players in the return leg in only two weeks time. Coach Friday Phiri might be tempted to call the likes of Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona into the squad to finish off the match against the Young Zebras.

Phiri will be pleased with his charges' haul of two goals away from home. Botswana will undoubtedly be under pressure to win the return leg in Harare. Any other drawn result which is less than a two goal draw will see Zimbabwe go through on an away goals' rule.

The winner between the two neighbours will play the winner between South Africa and Malawi, and not Angola as previously reported in the local media.


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