The Zimbabwe U20 Soccer team overcame challenges of a chaotic run off to the match against the highly fancied Cameroon to put up a five star performance earning a goalless draw in the first leg of their CAF U20 Cup of Nations qualifier.
The odds were always against the Young Warriors who only met for just 2 days in camp which was characterised by chaotic scenes that at one time led to the team being evicted from their lodgings. Speaking after the match, Head Coach Jairos Tapera said he was pleased with the performance of the team against the odds against a team that has been together for over 3 months.
The game played at the giant National Sports Stadium started with Cameroon threatening in the early exchanges of the game. The young indomitable lions first real chance at goal came in the 6th minute as they saw a glancing header fly over the post.
Zimbabwe responded from a counter attack with striker Thomas Kagaridyire receiving a clean pass in sight of goal but the referee blew for offside. The Young Warriors started to show intent in the 13th minute but Kagaridyire shot straight at the Keeper after having embarked on a solo run. That was to be the best chance of the game.
Both teams traded blows creating chances all round the pack but could not get the goal. Zimbabwe goalminder Nelson Chadya was aguably the best player on the day making timely saves though his distribution was a let down.
The teams went into the break with scores level at goalless.
The second half saw again both teams trading blows but failed to penetrate for goals. Highlanders’ young star Prince Dube was a thorn in the Cameroon defence but was not enough to get a goal.
The Young Warriors will be glad not to have conceded an away goal and will have everything to play for when the teams travels away to Cameroon.
And until then, We hope ZIFA will put their house in order to give the youngsers a well deserved preperation for the game.