Young Warriors dismiss Swaziland

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Zimbabwe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1)3
Swaziland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)1

FORTUNE MBELE
SPORTS REPORTER

ZIMBABWE’S Young Warriors kept their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the Region 5 Youth Games alive when they dispatched Swaziland in an exhilarating Group A match played At Luveve Stadium yesterday.

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Young Warriors win the match against Swaziland

Thomas Kadyaridzire scored a goal in each half (39th and 64th minutes).

The third goal came from substitute Thembalethu Mthunzi in the 86th minute to get to four points in Group A after playing a 1-1 draw with Mozambique at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.

It was Mthunzi’s second goal of the tournament as well after he scored the solitary goal against Mozambique.

Yesterday’s match almost got nasty in 78th minute when Swaziland’s skipper Ncwala Majahawodwa Dlamini’s strike was saved by Young Warriors goalkeeper Kelvin Shangiwa who dived with the ball and appeared to have crossed the line, but stuck to the ball.

The Swaziland players rushed to him to release the ball so they could take a corner, with some of the players thinking it was actually a goal.

It resulted in pushing and shoving inside Zimbabwe’s penalty box, leading to the fourth official, Zambia’s Allan Simukonda, getting into the field of play to assist the Seychelles referee Keren Treddy Yocette to resolve the impasse.

Ncwala and Young Warriors’ Trevor Zidora earned themselves yellow cards for the scuffle that ensued.

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Young Warriors fans congratulate the players after the match

Heavy rains pounded the field in the second half, but that did not stop the match. After hard work in the centre and combining well with Bukhosi Sibanda, Kadyaridzire was finally rewarded in the 39th minute with a header to open the scoring.

Kadyaridzire headed the ball past Swaziland goalkeeper Lwethu Simelane after the ball deflected off a defender from an Anelka Chivandire well-taken shot.

But soon after the breather, Swaziland’s Wandile Dlamini levelled the scoreline after capitalising on a Zimbabwe defensive mix-up firing past Shangiwa.

The introduction of Denzel Khumalo and Mthunzi for Chivandire and Lennon Bvochora in the 46th minute changed the complexion of the game for Zimbabwe who outclassed Swaziland, bombarding the visitors’ goal area at will.

Kadyaridzire won the ball on the right in the 64th minute, cut in and let off a scorcher which deflected off a Swaziland defender beating the advancing goalkeeper Simelane, for his second goal.

Substitute Mthunzi then assured the Young Warriors of three points four minutes before full time after he was set up by Sibanda who had dribbled past two Swazi defenders.

The Young Warriors coach Tafadzwa Mashiri said after the game: “We will build on the four points that we have accumulated. Our game plan was to use the counterattack and catch them on the break.”

His counterpart Velekhaya Mthethwa said they would try and win their next two matches.

Teams
Zimbabwe: K Shangiwa, T Muringani, F Rukunda, M Chodeva (J Munzira 90th minute), L Muyambo, A Chivandire (D Khumalo 46th minute), T Kadyaridzire, L Lunga, B Sibanda, L Bvochora (T Mthunzi 46th minute), T Zidoro
Swaziland: L Simelane, N Dlamini, M Msibi, K Dlamini, M Khumalo, Z Langa, W Dlamini, J Figareido (B Dlamini 73rd minute), M Dlamini (L Zwane 60th minute), M Nyaweni, L Manyatsi (W Vilakati 63rd minute)