Tuesday Sep 07, 2021. 17:35
Zimbabwe’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying Group G campaign suffered a major blow on Tuesday afternoon when they were beaten 1-0 by hosts Ethiopia at the Bahir Dar Stadium.
The result, which was decided by an injury-time penalty at the end of the game, sees the Warriors bottom of the log on one point. South Africa lead with four points, while the Walia Ibex have joined Ghana on three points.
Ethiopia were the more forceful and proactive team through the first half, with attackers Amanuel Gebremichael, Abubeker Ahmed and Getaneh Kebede combining to force Zimbabwe onto the back foot for most of the first 45 minutes.
Yet the Walia Ibex struggled to create scoring opportunities, only once calling Warriors goalkeeper Talbert Shumba into serious action, as he kept out a drive from Kebede midway through the opening stanza.
The visitors provided a sporadic threat and saw Khama Billiat shoot on target just past the half hour mark, though goalkeeper Fasil Gebremichael was able to make a relatively comfortable save.
Ethiopia’s rhythm was disrupted somewhat when they were forced into a 33rd minute change, replacing the injured Shimeles Bekele with Tafesse Solomon, and the half closed with the score locked at 0-0.
The East African side picked up in the second half where they left off in the first, though they found Zimbabwe’s defence difficult to break down – and when they did manage to get off efforts, Shumba was on hand to deny the hosts.
Ethiopia looked set to be frustrated right to the final whistle, but their pressure paid dividends in injury time at the end of the game, as they earned a penalty call from referee Bernard Camille and Aschalew Tamene converted from the spot to secure a 1-0 victory.
Ethiopia will return to Group G action with back-to-back matches against South Africa in October, while Zimbabwe will face Ghana both home and away.
Ethiopia (0) 1 (Tamene 90+5’ pen)
Ethiopia: F. Gebremichael, Tunjo (Yohannes 75’), Tamene, Baye, Yesuf, Bekele (Solomon 33’), Endeshaw, Mohammed (Hamid 75’), Ahmed, A. Gebremichael, Kebede (Yalew 75’)
Zimbabwe: Shumba, Chimwemwe, Mudimu, Bhasera, Lunga, Chikwende (Wadi 63’), Kamusoko (Madhanga 67’), Munetsi, Musona, Billiat, Dzvukamanja