Brito delighted with Warriors’ progress after Nigeria draw

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE Warriors head coach Baltemar Brito has expressed satisfaction with the progress his team is making following their commendable 1-1 draw against Nigeria in their 2026 World Cup Group C qualifier in Rwanda on Sunday.

Playing their home match at a venue in Rwanda, the Warriors were unlucky not to collect all three points as Nigeria needed a second-half equaliser from Kelechi Iheanacho to cancel out Walter Musona’s 26th-minute strike from a long-range free-kick.

It was Zimbabwe’s second successive draw after they played out a goalless draw against hosts Rwanda last Wednesday.

Brito believes his charges are on the right path, considering that the match against Nigeria was only their second competitive match after spending 18 months from international football due to a suspension by FIFA.

“When we started the game, we expected to win it, but unfortunately, we drew though we had ambitions to win

“We felt a positive vibe between the players and the technical staff and the committee,” Brito said after the match.

The veteran Portuguese mentor, who has previously worked with ex-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during his stints at the Premier League side and Inter Milan, was full of praise for his players.

He added: “The players have come here with open hearts, to serve and represent the country. They fought too much today and they deserve it, and in the end, this good performance is about them.

“The players deserve all the credit for this good performance, yes we had the chance, and in football, teams should create and score.

“We just scored one beautiful goal from Walter.”

The Warriors could have wrapped up a win with glorious late chances, something Brito pointed out, saying:

“At the end of the game, we had chances where we could have killed the contest.

“If it’s fair or not, we don’t know but football is about the final score, and the final score was 1-1. One point more and it’s like it is.

Despite coming narrowly short of a famous upset win against the much fancied Nigerians, Brito firmly believes his charges are on the right track and can only get better with more game time.

He said: “It is obvious this is a process, it’s our second game, third camping and from the last one to this one we felt a big difference.

“We want to build the organisation around the football team, not just inside.

“So we felt in this game – we were better than the last one, we were more positive and had a positive mindset and that brings positive things,” he concluded.

“We need to grow as a team, not only inside the team but outside as well.

“We faced a side that has years of playing together and creating dynamics so we are still in process.

“We won’t relax just because we drew with Nigeria, we can’t fall asleep just because we have done something good, right now it’s standard to go forward.”