Zimbabwe defeats Comoros in 2024 COSAFA Group B opener


PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa - Zimbabwe began their 2024 COSAFA Cup campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over Comoros in their Group B opener on Thursday played at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. 

Michael Tapera

Michael Tapera, making his debut for the national team, scored the decisive goal eight minutes into the second half. 

The Manica Diamonds forward found the net after a goalless first half where Comoros' defense proved resilient.

Farai Banda delivered a cross into the box, and Tapera made a stealthy near-post run to calmly side-foot the ball into the back of the net.

Despite dominating possession in the first half, Zimbabwe struggled to create clear-cut opportunities. 

Takunda Benhura had an early chance blocked in the second minute, and another effort on the quarter-hour mark was similarly thwarted by the Comoros goalkeeper.

Comoros, relying mostly on counter-attacks, also found it difficult to threaten Zimbabwe's goal. Both teams went into the halftime break deadlocked at 0-0.

Tapera's goal provided much-needed relief for Zimbabwe coach Jairos Tapera, who has been under scrutiny following losses in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and South Africa. 

The victory is seen as a step towards regaining the confidence of the Warriors’ supporters.

The loss leaves Comoros with a challenging path ahead, as they must now secure victories against Kenya and Zambia to advance. 

The Indian Ocean Islanders, who have never won the COSAFA Cup, face a tough task in their bid for a first title. 

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