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Zimbabwe held 0-0 by Eritrea at Nyayo

Updated Wednesday, December 2nd 2009 at 00:00 GMT +3
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By Oscar Pilipili

Eritrea’s Red Sea Boys left Nyayo National Stadium shoulders high after they held Confederation of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) champions Zimbabwe to a barren draw in a Pool ‘B’ match of the Orange Senior Challenge Cup.

The pre-match favourites Zimbabwe met a rude shock in Eritrea who displayed a skillful and purposeful game throughout the match.

Eritrea showed their intent to win just after five minutes when Goitam Tesfaldet broke loose on the right flank and moved menacingly towards the goal.

Zimbabwe goalkeeper Dube Tafadzwa was forced to move out of his area to clear the ball for a throw-in.

In reply, Zimbabwe’s corner off a counterattack was well taken by Mangezi Tapiwa, but was cleared off the line by Alemayo Ayele in the sixth minute.

Tesfaldet who was a constant threat in the Zimbabwean defence had another fantastic run in the eighth minute when he sneaked into Zimbabwe box but his combination with Bruk Asres failed to materialise.

Zimbabwe entered into the match hours after arriving in Nairobi and head coach Mapeza Norman blamed fatigue for the dismal show. He said: "We never trained together as a team and we needed at least two days to acclimatize but this didn’t happen," he said.

"I hope we tomorrow we shall get the time to train together before we take on Somalia in the next match," he said. Mapeza said he has faith in his squad that is made up of under-23 players.

Eritrea coach Negash Negasi said he was satisfied with the performance of his team for holding Southern Africa champions to a draw.

"I knew Zimbabwe are Cosafa champions and although my strikers lost several chances we’re happy with the draw," he said.

Negasi said he plans to change his striking formation ahead of the next match against Rwanda.

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