warriors outside hotel.jpgTraditional West African dirty tactics once again came to the fore, after the Zimbabwe national soccer team was booked into a substandard hotel with no electricity and water, by the Liberian Football Association.

 

As has become the norm when travelling to West Africa, the Warriors had to once again endure well calculated mind games by their hosts, before their crucial 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday.

 After arriving in Monrovia on Saturday morning, the Warriors found themselves housed at a sub-standard so called hotel without basic services such as electricity and water, with the Hotel Provident owners claiming their generator had blown up, in what the Warriors bemoaned as clear acts of sabotage on the part of the Liberian Football Association.

 As if the hotel drama was not enough, the team had to wait for over an hour until the arrival of their bus meant to ferry them to their training session which ended up starting an hour late.

As if it could not get any worse, the Warriors were further frustrated when the team’s bus mysteriously got a flat tyre, with the tyre having to be changed 2 hours later.

warriors bus tyre puncture.jpgBut after returning to their hotel to the reception of no electricity and water, tensions reached boiling point with the disgruntled Warriors head of delegation, Ndumiso Gumede having to protest to the Liberian Football Federation about the state of it’s accommodation that was later changed to a classier facility at the Golden Key Hotel, in a move which left many wondering why the Football Association had not done so in the first instance.

The Zimbabwe Football Association which has since lodged a complaint to the Confederation of African Football about the trail of events in their trip to Liberia will be hoping the African football governing body takes appropriate action against the West Africans.

Meanwhile, Warriors interim coach, Norman Mapeza has expressed satisfaction with the performance of his team after securing a 1-all draw with Liberia in a match Zimbabwe could have won had the match officials been fair.

Though having to settle for a 1-all stalemate, the Warriors could have won by a wide margin had Knowledge Musona and Edward Sadomba been able to break the deadlock after failing to bury clear cut goal scoring opportunities.

Zimbabwe however finally broke the deadlock when a well worked move engineered by Justice Majabvi saw an ever alert Musona clinically putting the Warriors a goal ahead from an acute angle.

The game which was played at an electric pace despite the humid conditions in the West African country, maintained it’s tempo in the second half, with Clemence Matawu beating his markers for dead in the 57th minute before laying the ball to Knowledge Musona whose effort was agonisingly blocked.

antipas and mapeza in liberia.jpgTafadwa Rusike also came close to stretching the Warriors lead in the 59th minute after unleashing a ferocious effort which was saved by Sunday Seah in goals for Liberia.

However it was Benin’s controversial referee, Codjia Coffi who once again hogged the limelight, when Liberia’s star midfielder Sekou Jabateh Oliseh, who plays Russian outfit, CSKA Moscow headed home, what appeared to be a foul on Washington Arubi, much to the dismay of the Warriors.

Lionel Mtizwa was however unfortunate not to score a late winner when his thunderous effort was somehow saved by an impressive Sunday Seah, as the game ended in a 1-all stalemate.

The vital away point leaves Zimbabwe tied in second position with Liberia, while Cape Verde who beat Mali 1-nil a day before, lead the group’s standings with 3 points.