Zimbabwe has been eliminated from the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers after losing 1-0 to Ghana at the National Sports Stadium on Tuesday.
The Warriors needed a victory to keep their slim chances of progressing to the next round alive, but Thomas Partey’s first-half strike dumped them out of the competition.
The result put them eight points behind Group G leaders, Black Stars, with only two rounds left.
The game had a cagey start, and only picked up towards the tenth-minute mark when Ghana’s Kamaldeen Sulemana tried to find the near post, only for Talbert Shumba to block his shot
The winger came again a few moments later later but this time, Kelvin Madzongwe made a timely tackle to thwart the danger.
The Warriors, on the other end, had to wait until the 20th minute to test the opposite goalkeeper when Knowledge Musona’s freekick was spilt with no takers able to pounce on a rebound. Madzongwe followed up but failed to connect a brilliant ball-in from the skipper.
The home team kept the momentum in next minutes, and the Black Stars survived another scare on minute 27 after Joe Wollacott made a heavy touch on a back pass, and Musona tried to reach for the ball first but the keeper made a desperate clearance.
Despite the pressure, Ghana managed to take the lead through Partey, who converted a freekick from just outside the box at the half-hour mark. Shumba was at fault after misjudging the set-piece and the ball sailed over him.
The visitors could have doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime, but Daniel Armety’s header was cleared off the line by Terrence Dzvukamanja.
Ghana took the game to Zimbabwe in the opening five minutes of the second half and created two successive opportunities.
Benjamin Tetteh came first with his chance but missed the target by inches before Mohammed Kudus struck the woodwork with a curling shot.
The Warriors tried to find their footing towards the hour mark and wasted two good opportunities, first with Jordan Zemura shooting wide from inside the box after beating his markers and then Musona losing balance to see his miscued shot going off target.
The Black Stars managed to slow down the tempo and kept their opponents at bay for the remainder of the game to claim the maximum points and complete a double over Zimbabwe.
🎥 Match Highlights: 🇿🇼 0-1 🇬🇭
— CAF (@CAF_Online) October 12, 2021