Southern Region players steal the show at Chan

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KUDAKWASHE Mahachi was the toast of the day as the Warriors beat Mali 2-1 to book a berth in the semi-final of the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament in South Africa on Saturday.

The Chicken Inn left linkman, wanted by Mamelodi Sundowns, scored the second goal after engineering a number of attacks from the midfield for the Warriors to be deservedly named man-of the-match.

It was his second man-of-the match award after the goalless draw against Uganda.

How Mine’s Simba Sithole scored his first goal for the Warriors as Zimbabwe made history by storming into the semi-finals of the Chan competition after beating Mali at Cape Town Stadium.

Sithole got to the end of a clearance by central midfielder Partson Kudakwashe Mahachi made it 2-0, 10 minutes after the breather.

The Warriors allowed Mali a consolation two minutes before the final whistle with a Hamidou Sinayoko close range header going past gangling Zimbabwe shot-stopper George Chigova who had made a number of saves in the game.

Highlanders Peter “Rio” Moyo, the man-of-the-match against Burkina Faso in the winner that saw the Warriors cruise through to the quarter-finals, was also on top of his game on Saturday. His shot was punched away for Diakite in the 24th minute, but he wasted another chance in the 53rd minute when he skied his effort after some splendid performance by the speedy Mahachi.

Former Highlanders attacking linkman Masimba Mambare, who has since crossed the floor to Bosso’s rivals Dynamos, scored the winner against the Burkinabe.

Sithole and Mahachi rose to the occasion for the Warriors against a background of a goal drought that saw the national team scoring a single goal in the group qualifiers forcing coach Ian “Dibango” Gorowa and his lieutenants Kalisto Pasuwa and Mkhuphali Masuku to ring some changes in the team.

Gorowa is yet to lose a match since assuming his job with the Warriors and the composition of the team that has brought the winning formula arouses quite some interest.

The Warriors’ squad of the local-based players comprised players mostly from the Southern Region save for goalkeeper Dynamos’ Chigova, Jaure, 2013 Castle Lager soccer star of the year Tawanda Muparati, Caps United’s Hardlife Zvirekwi and Mambare.

On the right-back was Hwange’s most sought after defender in the local league Erick Chipeta who is on Highlanders’ wish list and on the left was Bosso’s Milton Ncube.

In the centre was Chicken Inn’s Danny “Deco” Phiri, Rio, FC Platinum’s Ali Sadiki, Mahachi and Sithole.

Muparati replaced Sadiki 12 minutes before the final whistle while FC Platinum’s Nelson Maziwisa came in for Sithole in the 70th minute.

Chicken Inn’s Felix Chindungwe came in for Rio in the dying minutes of the game.

The Warriors await the winners between Gabon and Libya.

Meanwhile, Gorowa has praised his defenders for doing an excellent job in the ongoing Chan which has seen them qualify for the semi-finals.

“The defence has been our strength going forward and also the goalkeeper George Chigova who made some fine saves. Mali tried to take command of the midfield, but we took our chances early in the game and we were happy to win 2-1,” Gorowa said.

Although the coach said they were not happy to concede their first goal of the tournament from four games played, they are happy to keep advancing.

— Sports Reporter/SuperSport

2 COMMENTS

  1. in as much as its fact that the players who scored are from the southern zone.why are you making it a headline? its jounalists like you who divide the country on regional lines.imagine the herald running a headline like:HARARE PLAYERS STEAL THE SHOW AT CHAN.I bet you would be the first to say: “uyababona abantu beHarare,they think harare owns everything,its bambazonke”

  2. i agree with you 130% moyo. this is irresponsible journalism. please stop peddling hate because this will in the end destroy the unity of purpose in our team. it is not about regionalism but about zimbabwe. imagine this getting to the players.

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