By Gerald Kakora
THE Zimbabwe Warriors have been roasted by the Flames of Malawi and booted out of the 2021 Afcon tournament after taking an early lead against Malawi before losing the match by 1 goal against Malawi’s 2.
With still zero points and one match to play against a no-pushover Guinea next week, Zimbabwe are out of the tournament because joint Group B leaders Guinea and Senegal are tied at four points each.
Malawi now has three points and are still fancying their fairly rich mathematical chances of proceeding to the next stage if they beat Senegal and Zimbabwe hold or beat Guinea in the last Group B matches next week.
Zimbabwe started the match well in terms of ball control, possession and scoring opportunities, but captain Knowledge Musona and striker Ishmael Wadi were both wasteful with the chances.
In the 39th minute, Wadi rose to the occasion and poked home with a header a cross coming from the hard-working veteran midfielder Onismor Bhasera.
The Warriors bench erupted into joy, having not tasted victory in the last seven matches. However, the Flames of Malawi extinguished that joy in just four minutes when Bhasera failed to clear his lines in time.
Gabadinho Mhango fired a right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal, beating the Zimbabwean goalie.
Tied 1 – 1 at half-time, there was hope that somehow the Warriors would turn on the power and convert chances in the second half.
But all hope was lost when Gabadinho Mhango haunted the Warriors defence again in the 58th minute with yet another right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal volley.
More details to follow…