ZIMBABWE showed a significantly improved performance to hold reigning champions Algeria 2-2 in an African Cup of Nations qualification match in Harare on Monday, again in a match the Warriors will feel they probably deserved more from it.
A battling Warriors side was defeated 3-1 by the Algerians in Algiers on Thursday, and with better finishing upfront, they should have emerged with at least a point.
It was the same story in the Zimbabwean capital, where a powerful close-range header by in-form Lyon striker Tino Kadewere, which was saved by Algeria goalkeeper Azzedine Doukha – as well as missed second-half opportunity by captain Knowledge Musona – would have made the difference for the hosts.
Montpellier striker Andy Delort opened the scoring for the Algerians when he was left unmarked to power home a header from a Réda Halaïmia free-kick on 33 minutes past Zimbabwe goalkeeper Talbert Shumba, preferred this time ahead of the error-prone Elvis Chipezeze.
Zimbabwe’s left-back Adam Chicken, who struggled defensively before being substituted at half-time, gifted Algeria with their second goal five minutes later after failing to clear a long ball, resulting in the Desert Foxes’ captain Riyad Mahrez capitalising.
The Manchester City winger turned Chicksen inside out before firing past Shumba to leave the Zimbabweans on the verge of a heavy defeat in front of a near empty National Sports Stadium in Harare.
Zimbabwe however raised some hope after reducing arrears through captain Knowledge Musona two minute before half-time. The Belgium-based forward’s well-taken free-kick from outside the box curled past keeper Doukha just moments after his long-range free-kick had crashed against the bar.
The equaliser came eight minutes before full-time when substitute striker Prince Dube’s effort from close range, with his first tough, eluded Doukha. – Staff Writer