Botswana spoil Uhuru party as Warriors in 1-0 defeat

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THE Zimbabwe Warriors fell to a first half goal by Botswana to lose the inaugural President’s Independence Cup that put a seal to the Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on Wednesday.

A defensive mix-up by the home based Warriors saw an alert Zebras forward pounce to beat a diving Donovan Bernard, in goals for the hosts.

The Warriors had a lacklustre first half but came back stronger in the dying stages of the match but failed to find the elusive equaliser in-front of a near capacity crowd screaming in their support.

Zimbabwe is ranked number 28 in Africa but they failed to impose their high ranking over a country that is number 43 on the continent.

Coach Sunday Chidzambwa was using the international friendly to assess the current crop of players ahead of the COSAFA Cup which gets underway in South Africa next month.

The Warriors mentor said his players were nervous in the first half.

“I thought our guys were so nervous in the first half. As you know that we are trying so many players local and abroad but I thought in the second half the youngsters we threw in gave a good account of themselves,” Chidzambwa said.

Botswana head coach, Major David Bright was happy with his charges.

“This is a new team…we assembled on a Monday, the day before yesterday, we never trained in Botswana.

“I am very happy. They did a fantastic job,” he said.

Since independence in 1980, Zimbabwe have played 15 times with their neighbours, winning 8 times, drawing twice and losing the rest.

Meanwhile, in another Independence Day friendly played at Barbourfields Stadium same afternoon, Bulawayo City beat Highlanders 4-3 on penalties after the match had finished goalless during regulation time.