Zimbabwe managed an away goalless draw against Nigeria on Saturday in their final game before the 2019 Afcon tournament set for Egypt from June 21.
The Warriors were disciplined at the back and didn’t give their hosts enough room to execute their attacks. The midfield and the front-line, however, failed to keep the flowing as the team took a few chances on goal in the first period.
Nigeria created the first real opportunity in the game in the 6th minute when Paul Onuachu broke free and hit the side net. Zimbabwe, on the other end, also launched an offence a few moments later which saw captain Knowledge Musona missing the target from an acute angle.
Nevertheless, the play soon tilted in favour of the Super Eagles who forced the visitors in their half. Samuel Chukwueze’s low drive shot on the quarter hour made keeper Edmore Sibanda go to the ground to ward off the ball for safety before Alex Iwobi had his effort blocked by Teenage Hadebe for a corner kick.
Zimbabwe tried to get on their feet towards the half hour, but their efforts yielded nothing as Obi Mikel, Samuel Kalu and Chukwueze combined well in the Nigerian midfield to initiate all sorts of problems for their opponents. The heavy rains also made it difficult to take the ball forward.
The game went to the break with both teams tied in a deadlock.
The introduction of Kudakwashe Mahachi for Musona, Talent Chawapiwa for Khama Billiat, Jimmy Dzingai for Tendayi Darikwa and Tinotenda Kadewere for Nyasha Mushekwi at the start of the second half changed the Warriors’ approach as they started to maintain the flow of play.
Nigeria also made some changes in their team and the coming in of Ahmed Musa created some nervous moments for Zimbabwe every time the forward got the ball.
The 26-year-old along with another replacement Henry Onyekuru got a couple of chances which some were denied superbly by George Chigova who came on for Sibanda at half-time.
The game ended in a draw with no goals scored.
Nigeria XI: D. Akpeyi, K. Omeruo (Ekong 46′), L. Balogun, J. Collins, O. Aina (Awaziem 46′), O. Mikel (Agu 85′), A. Iwobi, O. Etebo, S. Chukwueze (Onyekuru 74′), S. Kalu (Musa 46′), P. Onuachu (Osimhen 62′).
Warriors XI: E. Sibanda (Chigova 46′), T. Darikwa (Dzingai 46′), D. Lunga, A. Mudimu, T. Hadebe, D. Phiri, M. Nakamba (Munetsi 84′), O.Karuru, K. Billiat (Chawapiwa 46′), K. Musona (Mahachi 46′), N. Mushekwi (Kadewere 46′).