Zimbabwe 0-1 Angola
MATEUS Domingos solitary goal in the second half was enough to help Angola beat Zimbabwe 1-0 in an African Under-20 Youth championship first leg second round qualifier at Rufaro on Sunday.
The pacy forward troubled the suspect Young Warriors defence of Kelvin Moyo, Tafadzwa Ngwena and skipper Willard Kalongola throughout the match.
The visitors, displaying superior technical awareness, controlled the match in the first half, carving out good chances.
In the 11th minute, Manuel Afonso nearly thrust his side into the lead after bursting into the penalty area but his effort was saved by goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga before Elvis Moyo cleared the ball out of danger.
Five minutes later Manuel Matos was set up by the lively Domingos only for his shot to be saved by Mateyaunga.
The hosts also had a good chance on 24 minutes when Kudakwashe Mahachi’s dipping shot slipped through the arms of goalkeeper Adilson Cruz who, however, managed to catch the ball on the second attempt with the fans already on their feet as it appeared to have crossed the line.
In the 38th minute, Afonso who combined well with Domingos in attack watched in disbelief as his rasping shot narrowly went wide after Mateyaunga stretched his left hand to get a touch to the ball.
Even so, Zimbabwe had another chance at the stroke of the first half but Mahachi’s cross was tipped over by Cruz. In the second half, coach Jairos Tapera brought in Walter Musona for Edmore Tsoro as he sought to press his opponents.
It nearly paid dividends as Musona breathed life into the team’s attack- threatening with some fine raids. The Aces Youth Academy forward had his low shot saved by the keeper on 60 minutes after being set up by Munyaradzi Chiwara.
However, Domingos decided the contest when he ghosted in for the winner after winning a foot race with defender Ngwena before beating a badly exposed Mateyaunga with a low shot in the 65th minute.
The hosts tried to claw back into the game launching wave after wave of attack but were denied by some stoic defending by the visitors.
“We lost to one man, their number 14 (Domingos),” said Tapera after the match.
“We told the players to move around with him but let him off and we got punished. We had good chances but we made a mistake and got punished. It was not a bad performance and hopefully they will do better in the return leg.”
His counterpart Nzuzi Andre remained modest even in his moment of triumph.
“Zimbabwe played well. They are a strong team and we should work hard for the return leg,” he said.
Goal delight ...The Angolas celebrate their goal