HARARE – Zimbabwe yesterday played a game of two halves against Angola in the final qualifying round of the 2013 African Nations Cup to win 3-1 despite clearly lacking fluidity for the better of the match.
The Warriors raced into an early 3-0 lead inside the opening 34 minutes with brilliant winger Khama Billiat in the form of his life.
It was in the second half that the team went to sleep and allowed the Palancas Negras to wrestle control of the match.
To their credit, the Angolans fought back and were rewarded with an away goal scored by second half substitute Djalma in the 58thminute.
Below are the Daily News player ratings from yesterday’s match:
Tapuwa Kapini – 6
He played through the pain of an ankle injury picked up last month, ample evidence of the Warriors captain and goalkeeper’s fanatical devotion to the national cause. He should take blame though for allowing Djalma’s shot to go between his legs for Angola’s goal.
Esrom Nyandoro – 7
He continues to put in quality performances at the back for the national team and was outstanding against Angola yesterday. The 32-year-old read the game well and was at hand to make timely interventions when Angola threatened.
Carlington Nyadombo – 7
The AmaZulu defender is turning out into a quality defender for the Warriors and yesterday’s performance is testimony to that effect. The only mistake the big defender made against Angola was allowing Djalma too much space inside the box to score the consolation goal.
Onismor Bhasera – 6
He was solid at the back yesterday and rarely pushed forward into the visitors half. Normally The England-based wingback bombards that left flank with endless overlaps, but yesterday he was a little restrained against the Palancas Negras.
Noel Kaseke – 6
Like Bhasera, Kaseke was also expected to venture upfront to give the Warriors some width, but he was also staying back. In the end, the Cyprus-based full back put up a conservative display on his return to national colours.
Oscar Machapa – 5
Asked to play the anchoring role in the absence of Tinashe Nengomasha, the Moroka Swallows player stuck to his brief of helping shore up the defence and rarely moved into the opponents’ half. He was let down by his carelessness when he had possession.
Vusa Nyoni – 5
He had a subdued game on the left side of the midfield as he tended to drift inwards to his weaker right foot. He was expected to get in behind the Angolans’ fullback and provide the necessary width, but did not show his true potential yesterday.
Archieford Gutu – 6
He started the game well in a central midfield role but fizzled out in the second half. Had he continued with his first half display, he could have been in the running for the man-of-the-match award.
Khama Billiat – 8
What more can one say about the Ajax Cape Town midfielder’s performance yesterday. He scored one and created the other two goals to cap off a fine afternoon in the Warriors shirt. Deservedly, he won the man-of-the-match award with the way he constantly threatened the Angolans when he was in possession.
Takesure Chinyama – 3
The new Orlando Pirates striker failed to assert himself on the match during the 33 minutes he was on the pitch before being substituted for Denver Mukamba. To be fair on him, he had struggled all week with his nagging ankles.
Rodwell Chinyengetere – 7
The Hwange forward is proving to be a revelation in the Warriors set-up. Yesterday, he put up a workman-like performance as he kept the Angolan defenders on their toes. Chinyengetere showed good vision to pick up Billiat with a delightful 40-yard pass for Zimbabwe’s second goal.
Ariel Sibanda 63 min – 5
Nelson Maziwisa 62 min – 4
Denver Mukamba 33 min – 5