The Warriors CHAN qualifier second round encounter got off on a sour note as they went down 1-0 to hosts Namibia in Windhoek on Sunday.
By Carlo Chikomba
The locally assembled Zimbabwe national team were beaten by the lower ranked Namibian team by a solitary goal at the Sam Nujoma Stadium despite having the better of the chances.
The visiting Warriors threatened early in the match with some smooth attacking play which gave the hosts defence plenty to think about.
But for all their efforts, Sunday Chidzambwa’s charges lacked the all-decisive cutting edge as the game went into half time scoreless.
Minutes after the restart, however, the Warriors were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal. In the 53rd minute the Namibian attack, which had been quiet all along, suddenly sprung to life with Hendrik Somaeb finding the back of the net.
Realizing that they were headed for defeat, the visitors upped the ante as they looked to restore parity but the home side made a fortress of their goal-line and held on for what could be a crucial win in their efforts to qualify for the CHAN showpiece due next year.
As for the Warriors, they would now head back to the drawing board to plot an upset in the second leg of the encounter due to be played next week in Harare with the winner over the two legs going to the final round of qualifiers to meet either Comoros or Lesotho.
Zimbabwe starting XI:
Rusawo, Mushure, Dauda ,Tigere , Mwerahari, Chakoroma, Muchenje, Manuvire, A.Amidu, Chawapiwa , Zekumbawire
Mawaya, Mukamba, P.Dube, Dzingai, Lunga, Mandiranga