Bonne delights on winning return to Warriors fold, targets Four Nations Invitational silverware

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Macauley Bonne celebrates after scoring Zimbabwe's first goal against Zambia at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Saturday

England-based forward Macauley Bonne spoke of his happiness after marking his return to Zimbabwe colours by scoring a crucial goal during the Warriors penalty shootout victory against old rivals Zambia in the Four Nations Invitational opener in Lilongwe, Malawi on Saturday.

The 28-year-old footballer, who is on loan at Cambridge United in the English League One, from League Two side Gillingham, was on target as Zimbabwe recovered from conceding two early goals to win the match on penalties after the tie had ended 2-2 in regulation time.

Bonne initially made his debut for the Zimbabwe Under-23 side in a friendly match against Morocco in November 2014 and had a dream start to his international career, scoring the opening goal after 18 minutes as the Young Warriors lost the match 2–1 in North Africa.

He went on to make his full international debut for Zimbabwe in November 2017 in an international friendly against Lesotho.

Bonne had to wait seven years for his next  national team appearance which finally came on Saturday and he made the best of the opportunity, showing his predatory instinct after arriving at the near post to meet a cross by the exciting debutant winger Daniel Msendami, and convert with a sliding finish.

Macauley Bonne

Having pulled one back through Bonne, the Warriors grew in confidence and Simba Bhora star Walter Musona restored parity for his team, beating Zambian goalkeeper Lawrence Mulenga in the second minute of the referee’s optional time.

After the teams emerged from the half-time break, there were no further goals from either side in the second period, which meant that the game had to be decided via a penalty shootout lottery, in which the Warriors eventually prevailed.

“Tough game today in the conditions here, we started slow and conceded two (early) goals but we fought hard and had to dig deeper to come back with a draw and fortunately win the match on penalties,” an elated Bonne said after the match.

“I’m happy to be back with the Warriors. I’m here to score goals and hopefully win this tournament and continue to score goals for the Warriors for the rest of my career.”

Bonne said his target is to help the Warriors win the Four Nations Invitational tournament.

Zimbabwe are scheduled to meet Kenya in the final on Tuesday afternoon.

“As a team we are looking to win this tournament. Zambia were probably the favourites and they are a good side and have had a longer time to gel together but I think our endeavour and fighting spirit is what made us win the game. I hope the fans are going to stick with us. We are going to do our best to bring the trophy to Zim,” Bonne said.

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