Zimbabwe were on target on Saturday yet again in spite of being subjected to a second consecutive defeat in the Women’s Football tournament of the Rio 2016 Olympics, as Canada beat them 3-1 at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo for a place in the Quarter Finals.
Coach Shadreck Mlauzi made three changes to the starting eleven that confronted Germany in their opening game on Wednesday, with Chido Dzingirai replacing Lindiwe Magwede in between the sticks while Rejoice Kapfumvuti came in for Lynett Mutokuto, who received a one-match suspension after her dangerous tackle on Simone Laudehr was reviewed by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee. Captain Felistas Muzongondi, who had come off the bench against Germany, took the place of Rudo Neshamba.
Three days after surviving the European giant’s onslaught, It seemed as though the Mighty Warriors were in for some whitewash against Canada when Janine Beckie, who is beginning to build a reputation for her self as one who scores early goals, opened the scoring in the 7th minute. The 21-year-old holds the record for the fastest goal in the history of Olympic football after scoring within 20 seconds in Canada’s 2-0 victory over Australia on Thursday.
Captain Christine Sinclair, who had delivered the cross which led to Beckie’s goal, then converted a penalty 12 minutes later for her tenth Olympic career goal after Zimbabwe’s goalkeeper, Dzingirai got yellow carded for a foul on Diane Matheson.
And that was before Beckie grabbed her brace in the 35th minute to raise her tally to three so far in the tournament.
Rutendo Makore almost pulled one back for Zimbabwe seconds to the break but Buchanan cleared the shot to ensure Canada ended the first half without conceding.
However the second half came with the moment majority of the over 30,000 spectators at the stadium were waiting for, when substitute Mavis Chirandu scored Zimbabwe’s consolation goal in the 86th minute. Many thanks to Marjory Nyaumwe whose contribution to the goal was immense as well.
At least one thing that cannot be denied is that Zimbabwe beat Canada 1-0 in the second half.
Nine goals conceded and two goals scored in two losses, Zimbabwe now look forward to their final group game against Australia as they continue their historic journey.