gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Warriors scrap a nil-all boring draw with Rwanda – The Zimbabwe Mail

Warriors scrap a nil-all boring draw with Rwanda

Rwanda vs Zimbabwe's Warriors
Spread the love

KIGALI, Rwanda – Zimbabwe returned to international football on Wednesday with a drab draw with Rwanda as they kicked off their Group C Africa 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign at the Huye Stadium, Rwanda.

A team stitched together for their first outing after FIFA lifted its more than a year-long ban over political interference was never going to sparkle here.

Gone was Knowledge Musona, the dependable former captain who quit international football.

On top for much of the game, the Warriors showed a lot of commitment but lacked the killer instinct upfront.

The game got off to a cagey affair in Butare, as Rwanda and Zimbabwe scrapped for the ball in the middle of the park.

As the dust settled, Zimbabwe took the patient approach in their build-up play while Rwanda looked to catch their opponents on the break.

Amavubi looked dangerous after 10 minutes on the clock and created a couple of notable scoring chances on the break.

However, Zimbabwe, shaking off rust from a long suspension by CAF, sat tight and dealt with Rwanda’s early pressure.

Djihad Bizimana produced the game’s first attempt at goal in the 20th minute, after he found himself in a favourable position inside the Zimbabwe half.

Nonetheless, his shot from range went wide, affording the Warriors an opportunity to reset.

Terrence Dzvukamanja, who replaced the injured Admiral Muskwe in the 23rd minute, provided Zimbabwe a much-needed spark in attack.

The SuperSport United star was at the end of two goal-scoring opportunities but were met by doggish Rwandan defending.

Rwanda then ended the half on a high, with Lague Byiringiro and Bonheur Mugisha causing havoc on the edge of the Zimbabwe area.

However, the Warriors managed to see out the first 45 unscathed.

Amavubi set the pace at the beginning of the second half, which forced Zimbabwe back into their own quarters.

Innocent Nshuti came agonisingly close to opening the scoring in the 50th minute, after being played through on goal by Hakim Sahabo.

After a crack at goal, Nshuti’s shot was subsequently parried away by goalkeeper Bernard Donovan.

Zimbabwe began turning the screws as the hour-mark approached, with Marshal Munetsi being the creator-in-chief for his side.

The Warriors, playing with black armbands in mourning of late Dream Team legend Rahman Gumbo, produced their best chance of the game in the 61st minute, with Gerald Takwara’s header from a corner situation going narrowly wide.

The Warriors continued to pile on the pressure towards the end of the game, however, Rwanda remained composed when neutralising the visitors’ attacking advancements.

Speaking after the match, French based Warriors midfielder Marshal Munetsi said a point on the road was good enough for a team that had a long spell outside the game following its suspension from international competition by CAF.

“We created a lot of chances that we could have capitalised on but it’s part of the game; we have not trained much together and after having a long suspension outside of football, I think this is a good starting point for us even if it’s a point,” Munetsi said.

The Warriors remain in Rwanda to “host” their next opponents Nigeria on Sunday and the level must go a notch higher to avoid embarrassment.

Source: ZimLive