The Zimbabwe Under-23 football team were badly exposed as they were made to look like rank amateurs during their 0-5 bashing by South Africa in their 2019 AFCON final qualifier, first leg match at Orlando Stadium just outside Johannesburg on Friday night.
A hastily assembled Young Warriors side, mainly composed of locally-based players who are under the guidance of Dynamos coach Tonderayi Ndiraya, were out of sorts and were totally outplayed in every aspect of the game in which they looked ordinary for the entire 90 minutes, according to former Zimbabwe youth international midfielder Butler Masango, who watched Friday's painful match.
Masango is now based in Johannesburg where he is running a football academy and he said the events of Friday night's nightmare was a bad advert of our football.
"Watching that game was like torture on the death chamber. I think technically and tactically we were not up to scratch compared to the South Africans. We struggled with basics like first touch and passing. We couldn't string three passes together, we wanted to rush to get into the final third and resorted to long balls which didn't do any harm to South Africa because they were quick to pick up the second ball and started their slick passing play with lots of movements.
"Our defence was vulnerable and we couldn't deal with the South African attackers, especially the wingers. They were quick and sent our fullbacks to the cleaners.
"Our midfield was non-existant. We left lots of spaces which was capitalised by Supersport United's duo of Sipho Mbule and Tebogo Mokoena who are two of the best young players in South Africa at the moment.
"The fact that we didn't have any shot on target speaks volumes about our poor showing on the day and if the hosts were clinical, they could have scored more than five goals.