Botswana . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
Zimbabwe Under-23 . . . . . 0
ZIMBABWE Under-23 preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil started on a disappointing note after they were edged 0-1 by hosts Botswana at the National Sports Stadium in Gaborone yesterday.
The Young Warriors defence have, however, only themselves to blame as they went to sleep towards the end of the match having held on matching their more experienced opponents blow for blow before succumbing to a 73rd minute well taken corner-kick.
The hosts started off with some vigour while the Young Warriors appeared to struggle in the first half.
But How Mine goalkeeper Bernard Donovan kept them in the game with several classy stops as the hosts threatened the visitors’ goal with some dangerous raids.
In the second half, the Young Warriors would have felt hard done by the referee after they were denied what seemed a genuine penalty in the 56th minute after Wisdom Mutasa was brought down in the penalty area.
Moments later, Zimbabwe wasted a good opportunity with skipper Ronald Pfumbidzayi’s stunning free-kick crashing against the upright post.
The Young Warriors were under the guidance of assistant coaches Saul Chaminuka and Nation Dube as head coach Kalisto Pasuwa is in Egypt attending a Fifa technical conference to review the 2014 World Cup.
Botswana fielded their senior team while Zimbabwe who crashed out of the 2015 African Cup of Nations have shifted focus to the Olympics and are building a squad for the tournament.
The match was organised as part of Botswana’s independence celebrations.
Young Warriors starting XI
B Donovan, B Moyo, R Pfumbidzai (captain), L Chakoroma, K Moyo, N Masuku, K Mtizwa, R Ruvhere, W Mutasa, G Nyoni, W Musona