By Jafferson Ndhlovu,
Cosafa group B table toppers Zimbabwe and Madagascar played out to a nil draw in the second matches of the on going Cosafa tournament.
Zimbabwe and Madagascar are now tied of 4 points but the Warriors lead the group on a superior goal difference.
The two teams had met six times prior to this yesterday encounter and Zimbabwe has a far better head to head. Winning four times and drawing twice. The biggest win happened in 1985 when Zimbabwe beat Madagascar 5-2. Last year’s edition of Cosafa the two teams could not break each others differences. So became a similar story.
The first ten minutes looked more of balanced match until the 12th minute. The Oceanians had a corner but got wasted. This must have spurred the Madagascans and they started seeing more of the ball. Denying Zimbabwe spaces to play.
Not until the 27th minute did Zimbabwe get a chance to strike on target but was delt with superbly by the Oceanians. First half ended with nothing much to write home about.
Though Zimbabwe were favourites it was Madagascar who played the better in the first half.
A 53rd minute header from Ovidy Karuru was saved by the amazing 19 year old Madagascar goalie. But again the Oceanians took control of things. Twice in the 57th and 76th minutes Mozambique slotted in dangerous balls into the dangerzone buy goal Chigova was alert to the task.
In the 84th and 86th minutes Zimbabwe had successive shouts for penalties ignored when Manuvire and Karuru werr brought down in the box. But Botswana referee gave nothing on both occasions.
Meanwhile, its those decisions that Zimbabwe football fratenity talking labelling that biased refereeing. And Zimbabwe Football Association has since said they will protest to Cosafa.
“This was just unacceptable and as an Association we will protest against such questionable ways of deciding matches because the referee should offer both chances as a fair opportunity to try and win the game and this referee appeared to have an agenda against us said ZIFA vice president, ” Omega Sibanda to the Herald.
With a game to go in group B, three teams have realistic chances of progressing to the next stage after Mozambique beat Seychelles 2-1.
Zimbabwe on 4 points play group weeping boys Seychelles while Madagascar also on 4 points entertain Mozambique who now have 3 points.