Africa Cup of Nations – Sunday 15th January
Zimbabwe produced an exceptional performance coming from a goal down to draw 2-2 against a highly rated Algerian team in the opening match of Group B at AFCON 2017.
The Warriors will rue missed chances and this will go as 2 points lost than a point gained taking in consideration the chances that came their way.
Africa’s best player Mahrez the confident Leicester City man who scooped the man of the match award scored a brace while Zimbabwe’s goals came from Kuda Mahachi and Nyasha Mushekwi from the penalty spot.
Lots of bluster from both teams from the off with Khama Billiat proved to the world stage what a player he is as early as the 8th minute forcing a save after a powerful shot from inside the box. Great player gruesome haircut.
Billiat was to return back seconds later hitting the upright from a volley.
However it was Leicester’s Mahrez who opened the scoring in the 12th minute having been given lots of space inside the box to curl it around Mukuruva showing the class he is made of.
The Warriors equalized just 4 minutes afterwards following a great one two between Mahachi and , ending on the foot of Mahachi who calmly beat Mbohli from the edge of the box.
Shortly afterwards Billiat could have easily nodded Zimbabwe ahead but his shot at goal after being teed off inside the box by Mushekwi was well saved by Bohli who literally kept the Algerians in the game.
Zimbabwe went ahead in the 23rd minute from the penalty spot converted by Nyasha Mushekwi after Bhasera was brought down inside the box.
2-1 to Zimbabwe at half time and a major shock was on the cards.
Zimbabwe grew visibly tired in the second half as the game wore on although they still created good chances.
Billiat could have extended Zimbabwe’s lead in the 54th minute after turning Aissa Mandi inside out before his shot at near post was well saved by Bohli.
The Algerians took charge of the game but were let down by striker Slimani who kept missing chance after chance.
The Algerians best chance to lead came off the header of Bensebaini who hit the crossbar with Mukuruva well beaten.
Zimbabwe could have wrapped up the game with 10 minutes left of play after substitute Cuthbert Malajila stole the ball away from Mandi only to force a save off Bohli on a one on one situation.
Seconds later Zimbabwe were punished as Mahrez scored from outside the box to equalise for the Algerians.
Both teams are still very much in the competition.
”Main Photo: Pal2iyawit / Shutterstock, Inc.”