Africa: AFCON U23 - Another Heartbreak for Mozambique

Mozambique's football suffered a second heartbreak inside four days when their junior side fell 2-0 to Zimbabwe in the Total Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations in first round, second leg at the National Sports Stadium in Harare Tuesday.

Just like their senior side, the Mambas, who were eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations after conceding late in a 2-2 draw away to Guinea Bissau, the Under-23 succumbed to two late goals by Zimbabwe substitutes Obriel Chirinda and Delic Murimba.

In Tuesday game in Harare, both teams appeared headed for a penalty lottery to decide the winner after a 0-0 draw in Maputo on Friday, before Chirinda broke the deadlock in the 86th minute curling a left footed effort past the visitors' goalkeeper Victor Alcino Guambe.

The hosts then made certain of their progress to the second round and set up a date with South Africa when Murimba scored from close range after an assist from fellow substitute Anelka Chivandire, deep into time added on.

Mozambique coach Victor Matine said they had been hoping to cheer the spirits of their nation with a victory in Harare but had failed to make their dominance of the game count.

"Our seniors were in control against Guinea Bissau but they were unlucky to concede in injury time and luck was not our side too in Harare because we dominated this game but we just could not use our chances," Matine said.

"We started the game very well first half, we dominated the game. We created a lot of chances to score but we didn't, so this situation happened in Mozambique when we played against them, we dominate the game, well possession and then we didn't score.

"So second half things changed, Zimbabwe made some changes on the team, so they started playing very well and so they gave us a lot of problems especially in defensive situations and we made two mistakes and they scored from those mistakes.

"We are sorry to the people of Mozambique, we had wanted to give something to the people of our country as you know life is very difficult in Mozambique at the moment after the cyclone," said the Mozambique coach.

Hosts coach Tonderai Ndiraya acknowledged that Mozambique had given them a tough time but was still happy to have seen his team through.

"It was a very difficult game and our situation has not been helped that we are still in off-season in Zimbabwe and our players clearly struggled for match fitness.

"But I am proud of the boys, they soaked the pressure and when we made some changes, it lifted our game. Of course we would have loved to get the job done early like what our senior s did but there is no late goal in football," said Ndiraya.

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