Zimbabwean football continued on its purple patch last night after the Young Warriors beat their Botswana counterparts 2-0 to qualify for the second round of the 2017 Africa Under-20 Championships.
The Young Warriors crashed to a shock 0-1 home defeat at Barbourfields in the first leg in a game they dominated, but overturned that deficit in clinical fashion as they beat their opponents, in their backyard, to progress to the next round.
Coach Jairos Tapera had confidently declared that his troops would win in Botswana, after having been impressed by the way they dominated their game in Bulawayo with very little rewards, with the opponents’ ‘keeper being the man-of-the-match.
And, true to his predictions, the Young Warriors duly delivered, wiping out that deficit in the very first minute of the game through a headed goal by Bukhosi Sibanda.
Then, minutes before the interval, Peace Makaha fired home the winning goal and ended the match as a contest as it meant that Botswana needed to score twice and stop the Young Warriors from scoring, in the second half for them to go through.
Young Warriors’ team manager, Patrick Mutesva, described it as a great victory and said the Young Warriors had played to their full potential.
ZIFA president, Philip Chiyangwa, also hailed the Young Warriors last night saying they had played like true Warriors and ensured that the nation’s joy, which has been boosted by the Warriors and the Mighty Warriors, would not be deflated by the Young Warriors.
“It’s another great victory for our football and as the leaders, we can’t ask for anything more because this is what serving this nation, though this game, means and this is what the fans have been asking for,” said Chiyangwa.
“We are on a good run and we should maintain it. I am going to meet the team in Bulawayo and tell them that the nation really appreciates what they have done for us.”