Musona’s knowledge too much for Liberia
A decisive Knowledge Musona hat-trick handed Zimbabwe a winning start as they beat Liberia 3-0 in their opening Group G Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the national Sports Stadium in Harare on Sunday.
New Warriors skipper Musona was up for it from the start and twice forced saves out of Liberia’s Boison Wynney.
Danny Phiri lifted the ball over the defence from close to the centre line to find the brilliant run of Musona who shrugged off the Prince Kennedy, controlled the ball and put the ball skilfully past the rushing Wynney.
Twice frontman Tendai Ndoro had brilliant chances to put Zimbabwe further ahead but yielded no fruits.
Thabani Kamusoko came close when his deadball effort was tipped onto the underside of the crossbar in the 42nd minute.
The only moment of worry for Zimbabwe in the first half came when Teenage Hadebe scuffed his clearance but Nimely’s effort wit Chigova to beat curled harmlessly past the far post.
As the second half started flat but soon enough Musona was at it again. Kuda Mahachi beat his man on the right flank and Ndoro left it for his skipper whose struck it decisively home.
Ten minutes later it was the hat-trick. Partson Jaure crossed high ball from the left flank and Musona coolly slotted it past Wynney to send the crowd bursting into songs of Nyama Yekugocha.
It could have been many more but player Kamusoko, Musona and substitute Evans Rusike were thwarted by the keeper or crossbar.
With the Democratic Republic of Congo beating Congo 3-1 on Saturday it is a good start for the Warriors who sit on top of the group.
The bigger tasks come nine months from now when they take on the stronger and much higher ranked teams in the group but on this showing, Norman Mapeza’s new-look side will be confident of giving it a good run.
Quick sidebar: Knowledge Musona is the first player to score a hat-trick in his first game as captain of Zimabwe. He is also the first to score a hat-trick in a competitive match for Zimbabwe since Peter Ndlovu against Swaziland in 2004. Nyasha Mushekwi did bag one in a friendly against Malaysia in 2009.