By Ray Munyoro
Zimbabwe’s hopes of progressing to the semi-finals of the ongoing COSAFA U20 Men’s Championships were dealt a huge blow yesterday after losing 2-0 to Mozambique in a match that was played at Wolfson in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
And coach Tonderai Ndiraya believes his boys lacked some football basics.
“We did well in the first half to create chances but I felt we were a bit heavy and not pressing enough. In football if you don’t convert your chances you get punished,” said Ndiraya.
Zimbabwe have managed a point from the two matches they have played so far after recording a 2-2 draw against South Africa in their first match.
The tournament also serves as the zonal qualifiers for next year’s CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations finals to be held in Mauritania.
Ndiraya acknowledged their hopes to progress to the next stage are “no longer there”.
“Our hopes are no longer there. We just need to go back and develop our players, some of the basic things are lacking, which cannot be taught at this platform.
“Mozambique had a game-plan and stuck to it, credit goes to them, they are almost there (in the semi-finals),” said Ndiraya.
Zimbabwe had the greater of the play, but Mozambique used their chances better and goals from Simon Cipriano and Gabriel Pinho sealed the victory.
And to confirm Zimbabwe’s dominance Munashe Garan’anga was named player of the match. The Ubuntu Cape Town player expressed disappointment with the result which left their hopes of progressing to the next stage slim.
“I am disappointed that we didn’t get three points but am grateful for the recognition,” he said,
“It was frustrating for us not to score; in training we are always scoring. It was just not our day,” said Garan’anga.
The top team in each group proceeds to the last four, together with the best runners up. Zimbabwe round up their group matches tomorrow against Lesotho. Nhau/Indaba