Soccer News of Sunday, 3 June 2001
Source: Reuters/Zimbabwe web
Ghana beat Zimbabwe 2-1 in an African Nations Cup match in Harare on Sunday to qualify for next year's finals.
Substitute striker Isaac Boakye scored a killer punch in injury time for the "Black Stars" of Ghana to secure the three points. Ghana have now taken their points tally to an unassailable 10 in Group Six. Zimbabwe, having never qualified for the finals since joining the competition in 1980, are third in the group with six points.
Ghana's Prince Owusu-Ansah scored the equaliser in the 40th minute after Zimbabwe had taken a 14th minute lead through midfielder Wilfred Mugeyi.
Zimbabwe must beat the Democratic Republic of Congo -- who have five points -- in their last match in Kinshasa to qualify as runners up of the group.
But Lesotho, who also have six points and a superior goal difference to Zimbabwe, can win the second qualifying
The Warriors who were the better side numerous chances to score and were punished deep into injury time when Ghana scored the winner. The victory meant that Ghana automatically qualify for the 2002 African Cup of Nations final in Mali.
Zimbabwe had taken the lead in the 13th minute from Wilfred Mugeyi whose effort from a corner was ajudged to have crossed the line. Ghana rallied back to score a late goal in the first half. It was 1-1 at half-time.The game was watched by 35 000 fans.
The other two teams in the group, Lesotho and Democratic Republic of the Congo played to a goaless draw.
The result means that Zimbabwe can still qualify for the Cup of Nations Final in 2002 if they win or draw against DRC in Kinshasa and Ghana beat Lesotho. The away match in DRC will be a difficult one and Ghana is unlikely to field a strong team against Lesotho as they have already qualified. Man fans left the stadium feeling dejected and questioning Misheck Marimo's coaching tactics.
The National team coach made the dubious decision of including Wesley Gilbert in the team even though the player is failing to break into the Dynamos first team and has only played 2 reserve games at club level since his return from injury.The young player has great potential but was out of his league on the day.
Elderbert Dinha was undeniably the man of the match and marshalled Zimbabwes midfield well. It was obvious why he had been named as Ajax Capetowns player of the year. Norman Mapeza, Dumisani Mpofu and George Mbwando played their hearts out and showed true Warrior pedigree whilst captain Peter Ndlovu shouldered the blame for missing three gilt-edged chances in front of goals.
The Warriors will now begin to plan for their encounter against DRC in 14 days