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Warriors lose to Kenya

by Staff reporter
27 Mar 2024 at 06:35hrs | Views
Kenya 3 - 1 Zimbabwe
Kenyan striker Michael Olunga delivered a stunning hat-trick from behind to secure a 3-1 victory over Zimbabwe in the final match of the Four Nations Cup, held at Bingu Stadium in Malawi on Tuesday. Olunga's three goals served as a fitting birthday gift as he celebrated his 30th birthday.

Zimbabwe took an early lead just 3 minutes into the game, courtesy of an own goal by Kenyan defender Joseph Okumu, who inadvertently redirected a cross by Tinotenda Kadewere into his own net. However, Olunga equalized for Kenya during first-half stoppage time, leveling the score at 1-1.

The match took a dramatic turn five minutes into the second half when Zimbabwe's head coach, Norman Mapeza, vehemently protested a referee's decision not to award a penalty for a foul on his player in the opponent's box. Mapeza's actions resulted in his expulsion from the sidelines, forcing him to watch the remainder of the game from the stands. With Mapeza absent from the bench, Zimbabwe came under pressure, leading to team captain Teenage Hadebe receiving a second yellow card and subsequent red card, reducing the team to ten men.

Despite Kenya also being reduced to ten men later in the game, Olunga continued his stellar performance by netting his second goal in the 63rd minute. He completed his hat-trick shortly afterward, sealing the victory for Kenya.

Reflecting on the match during the post-match interview, Mapeza expressed disappointment over the turn of events but congratulated Kenya on their win. Zimbabwe had utilized the tournament as part of their preparations for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers scheduled for June.

Kenya's triumph marked their fifth victory over Zimbabwe in eleven encounters, with Zimbabwe securing only one win, while the remaining matches ended in draws.

Source - newzimbabwe
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