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Zimbabwe lose to Lesotho in 2026 World Cup qualifier

Zimbabwe lose to Lesotho

Zimbabwe’s hope of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals suffered a blow on Friday afternoon following a 2-0 defeat by Lesotho.

The Warriors paid the price for a poor first-half defensive display in the Group C matchday three encounter played at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Zimbabwe were favourites going into the match, after fielding a relatively strong first XI that included Wolves youngster Tawanda Chirewa, who made his international debut in the match, as well as Marshall Munetsi, Tino Kadewere, Jordan Zemura, Teenage Hadebe, Divine Lunga, and Andy Rinomhota.

The Crocodiles took the lead after 21 minutes when left-back Rethabile Rasethuntsa helped the ball over the line when Zimbabwe’s defence failed to deal with a corner.

Lesotho doubled their lead just nine minutes later as Jane Thaba-Ntso slid in the second, following another Warriors error.

Chirewa and Munetsi were both denied by the woodwork as the Warriors’ efforts came to nothing.

Zimbabwe remain on two points after draws against Rwanda and Nigeria in their first two matches.

Benin beat Rwanda 1-0 at home on Thursday to climb to third in Group C.

Nigeria was scheduled to host South Africa on Friday at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium. The match kicks off at 9 PM CAT.

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