Liberty Chakoroma of Zimbabwe challenged by Andriamirado Andrianarimanana of Madagascar during the Cosafa Castle Cup match between Zimbabwe and Madagascar at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on 28 June 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Wednesday Jun 28, 2017. 18:57
Zimbabwe were held to a goalless draw by Madagascar in a Cosafa Cup clash at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The result sees the teams locked at four points apiece at the top of Group B, with the Warriors leading on goal difference. Both Seychelles and Mozambique will hope to make up ground when they play the other pool match later on Wednesday.
The opening 20 minutes of play produced no attacking play of note, with both teams settling into the match and finding their rhythm in front of a sparse crowd at the venue.
Zimbabwe’s first clear chance arrived in the 21st minute as Blessing Majarira sprung the offside trap and drew goalkeeper Leda off his line, only to put his effort from a tight angle into the side netting.
Had Majarira held his composure and squared the ball across the penalty area instead, his teammate Leeroy Mavunga would have had a tap-in.
Madagascar made few chances in the first half, though on 28 minutes they threatened through Tantely - he looked to pick out Boura from out wide, only for the striker to miss out under pressure from the Warriors’ defence.
Zimbabwe made two changes at the start of the second half, introducing Bruce Homora and Knox Mutizwa off the bench to replace Jameson Mukombwe and Majarira respectively.
Yet it was Club M who created the first chance after the restart, with more good work from Tantely to provide a cross for Rinjala, but the attacker put his shot from a tight angle over the target.
On 53 minutes Zimbabwe created a great chance when a cross from the left flank picked out an unmarked Ovidy Karuru in the middle, but his diving header was brilliantly saved with his feet by goalkeeper Leda.
Openings were then few and far between until the 77th minute, when Madagascar substitute Bila made an immediate impact with an awkward shot which forced George Chigova into a good save.
The Warriors were unlucky not be awarded two penalties in the dying minutes, with substitute Raphael Manuvire and Karuru both clearly upended in the box, but referee Joshua Bondo twice waved away their appeals.
The teams will wrap up their Group B campaign with the final round of matches on Friday: Madagascar will battle Mozambique at Moruleng Stadium, while Zimbabwe face Seychelles at Royal Bafokeng.
Zimbabwe: Chigova, Mukombwe (Homora 46’), Tigere, Chipeta, Mushure, Takwara, Chakoroma, Karuru, Chawapiwa (Manuvire 80’), Majarira (Mutizwa 46’), Mavunga
Madagascar: Leda, Tobisoa, Johny, Andoniania, Tantely, Ando, Lolode, Rinjala (Baggio 88’), Dax, Boura (Bila 76’), Nono (Bela 66’)