Warriors lose to Kenya  in chaotic Four Nations Cup final match

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By Sport Reporter

A hattrick from behind by Kenyan striker Michael Olunga was enough to bury Zimbabwe 3-1 in the final match of the Four Nations Cup played at Bingu Stadium in Malawi on Tuesday.

The three goals were a perfect birthday present for the big striker celebrating his 30th.

Zimbabwe went in front 3 minutes into the contest thanks to an own goal by Kenyan defender Joseph Okumu who tapped in a cross by Tinotenda Kadewere.

The Warriors’ lead did not last as Michael Olunga managed to grab an equaliser during first-half stoppage time to make it 1-1.

Things went sour for the Warriors five minutes into the second half when team head coach Norman Mapeza protested against the referee’s decision of not rewarding a penalty following the fouling of his player in the opponents’ box.

This saw the match going to a standstill as the referee tried to deal with the chaos that had erupted on the pitch as players from both sides quarrelled.

As part of his action, the referee flagged a red card to Norman Mapeza, who had to watch the remainder of the game from the stands.

With their shepherd’s absence on the bench Zimbabwe went under pressure from the opponents who were now knocking for another goal, this saw team captain of the day Teenage Hadebe being shown a second yellow card before being red card leaving ten men on the pitch.

Harambee Stars took advantage of the situation and grabbed an equaliser in 63 minutes thanks to Olunga who registered his second goal of the day.

Kenya was reduced to ten men in 72 minutes as one player was sent off after accumulating a second yellow card.

However, this could not stop Olunga’s fine form of the day as he later completed his hattrick to seal the victory for his side.

“Second half we had one or two issues over penalty appeals, we had a commotion, their coach was on the pitch and I was also on the pitch.

“So unfortunate I was red-carded and that affected my boys physiologically.

“But it was a good tournament and we just say congratulations to Kenya,” said Mapeza during the post-match interview.

Zimbabwe was using the just-ended tournament as part of preparations for the coming World Cup Qualifiers scheduled for June.

Tuesday’s victory saw Kenya recording its fifth win over Zimbabwe in eleven meetings, the other five ending up as draws while Zimbabwe only has one win over them.