The Zimbabwe Under-17 soccer team has a lot to ponder after losing to visiting Congo Brazzaville in an African Youth Championship second round, first leg tie under wet weather at Rufaro yesterday.
Congolese acquitted themselves like the home side as they overwhelmed their clueless hosts with some dangerous attacking play.
Congo fielded six players who took part in the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico last year, and their dominance was not surprising.
The Young Warriors fell to goals from Alain Binguka and substitute Obasi Ngatsoko, with Tinotenda Kadewere scoring the face saver for Zimbabwe. Impressive winger Bakari Christ whipped in a corner in the 25th minute, which midfielder Binguka powerfully headed past Tatenda Mukuruva in goals for Zimbabwe for the opener.
Congo created some scary moments in the next eight minutes, as Binguka and Kangou Rowel failed to do justice to Christ's crosses, hitting the post twice in the process. The Young Warriors came rejuvenated after the restart and it took them eight minutes to restore parity.
Kadewere produced a pure moment of brilliance to evade a marker before curling a stunner past Ombandza Pea Jose to spark Rufaro into frenzy. Three minutes before the final whistle, Nabiala Charlevy's free kick was met by substitute Ngatsoko, who scrambled the ball past Mukuruva to compound misery on Lloyd Chigova's boys. The return leg will be played in Brazzaville in a fortnight.
Congo Brazzaville (1)2