By Sports Reporter
Ghana……….. (1) 1
A GOALKEEPING blunder by goalkeeper Talbert Shumba dealt the Warriors’ hopes of salvaging some lost pride in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers a fatal blow after they suffered their second successive loss to Ghana inside three days at the National Sports Stadium.
After their 3-1 capitulation in Ghana at the weekend, the Warriors had got off to a promising start in the reverse fixture which they needed to win at all costs to keep their slims hopes alive before Shumba somehow let through a free kick by Thomas Partey in the 31st minute.
It was Partey’s second goal in as many matches after also scoring in the reverse fixture played at the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana on Saturday.
Ghana held on for the slender win which keeps them firmly in contention for the ticket to the final qualifying rounds of the World Cup qualifiers after moving to the top of Group G, pending South Africa’s match against Ethiopia later Tuesday.
In contrast the Warriors are now officially out having collected just a single point from their first four matches after managing just one draw and three losses.
Even more worrying is the fact Zimbabwe’s senior national football team now has just one win in their last nine matches which came in a 1-0 victory over Botswana in an Afcon qualifier in March.
The decisive moment of Tuesday’s encounter came just after the half-hour mark when Partey scored the lone goal with a well-taken freekick from the edge of the box which caught Shumba off-guard.
Prior to that, Ghana had come close twice, first Kamal Deen Sulemana wriggling his way into the box from the left but his shot was saved.
Zimbabwe also had their moments with Jordan Zemura square ball finds no takers inside the box in the 14th minute while skipper Knowledge Musona tested the goalkeeper from a setpiece.
The Warriors tried to push themselves back into the game in the second half with winger Zemuracoming very close to equalising after weaving past two defenders before just missing the target early in the second half.
In the end, Ghana were tactically disciplined and guarded the single goal advantage.
With two rounds of matches left, Zimbabwe are out of contention with only a point from four matches