We are back: Zimbabwe Warriors Register First Win After Readmission to International Football

In a tightly contested match, Zimbabwe edged out Comoros with a 1-0 victory, thanks to a decisive goal by Michael Tapera in the 54th minute. The match, held at the Comoros National Stadium, was marked by several key moments and substitutions that kept fans on the edge of their seats.

The first half saw both teams struggling to find the back of the net. Comoros made a promising attack in the 12th minute, with Hadji delivering a dangerous low cross that found no takers. Zimbabwe, however, managed to maintain a slight edge in ball possession and created several opportunities, although none converted into goals.

The breakthrough came early in the second half. In the 54th minute, Michael Tapera capitalized on a cross to put Zimbabwe ahead, a lead they would defend diligently for the rest of the match. Despite Comoros’ efforts to equalize, including a promising break in the 87th minute and multiple set-piece opportunities, Zimbabwe’s defense, led by goalkeeper Godknows Murwira, held firm.

Several players received yellow cards, highlighting the match’s intensity. Zamir of Comoros was booked in the 84th minute, while Zimbabwe’s Malvern Hativagoni and Michael Tapera also saw yellow in the 38th and 47th minutes, respectively.

Both teams made strategic substitutions in the second half. Zimbabwe brought on Mapuwa for Benhura in the dying minutes of the game to bolster their defense, while Comoros introduced Tarek and Idari to enhance their attacking options.

Despite Comoros’ efforts to press forward, including a good break in the 87th minute, they were unable to penetrate Zimbabwe’s resolute defense.

After the match, the Comoros head coach blamed poor officiating for his country’s loss, stating that the Zimbabwean keeper wasted a lot of time but was never cautioned by the Mozambican referee. “We are a small country; Zimbabwe is a big team, but we are not happy about the decisions,” he said.

The Zimbabwean coach, Tapera, praised his team for being disciplined and also conceded that the team benefited a lot from the efforts of Tinotenda Meke on the left flank, who terrorized the opposition in the second half.

“The other wing that was not working (the right) gave us the goal. We are happy with the result as we are in a rebuilding phase,” said the Zimbabwean coach.

The Warriors who top the group after this match will play Zambia on 30/06/24 before wrapping up group matches with a tasty encounter with Kenya on 02/07/24. Zimbabwe now prepare to face Zambia in their next Group B match on Sunday knowing that victory will send them to the next round.

Zambia and Kenya are due to play later today.

Comoros Starting XI: Adel, Zamir B., Youssouf, Omar, Mohamed, Haslene, I. Youssouf, Hadji, Raidou, Hilali, Djambare.

Zimbabwe Starting XI: Raphael Pitisi (GK), Emmanuel Jalai, Farai Banda, Malvern Hativagoni, Godknows Murwira (C), Richard Hachiro, Donald Mudadi, Juan Mutudza, Michael Tapera, Tinotenda Meke, Takunda Benhura.

COSAFA Man of the Match: Godknows Murwira(C), Zimbabwe.

ZwNews Man of the Match: Tinotenda Meke