Zimbabwe captain Knowledge Musona hit a hat-trick as his new-look national side beat Liberia 3-0 in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Harare on Sunday.
Musona took over the captaincy after Willard Katsande – who had skippered the Warriors at this year’s Nations Cup in Gabon – was dropped.
Belgium-based Musona heralded in a new era for Zimbabwean football with a sterling performance in the Group G encounter.
|Friday:||Grp H: Ivory Coast 2-3 Guinea|
|Grp A: Sudan 1-3 Madagascar||Grp G: DR Congo 3-1 Congo|
|Grp E: Libya 5-1 Seychelles||Grp I: Burkina Faso 3-1 Angola|
|Saturday:||Grp C: Mali 2-1 Gabon|
|Grp B: Malawi 1-0 Comoros||Grp A: Senegal 3-0 Equatorial Guinea|
|Grp C: Burundi 3-0 South Sudan||Sunday:|
|Grp K: Zambia 0-1 Mozambique||Grp G: Zimbabwe 3-0 Liberia|
|Grp I: Botswana 0-1 Mauritania||Grp H: CAR v Rwanda (1500)|
|Grp B: Cameroon 1-0 Morocco||Grp D: Benin v The Gambia (1500)|
|Grp J: Niger 0-0 Swaziland||Grp F: Ghana v Ethiopia (1530)|
|Grp K: Guinea-Bissau 1-0 Namibia||Grp L: Cape Verde v Uganda (1730 – postponed to Sunday)|
|Grp E: Nigeria 0-2 South Africa||Grp D: Algeria v Togo (2100)|
|Grp F: Sierra Leone 2-1 Kenya||Grp J: Tunisia v Egypt (2200)|
|Grp L: Tanzania 1-1 Lesotho|
Musona’s first strike came on 24 minutes, with Zimbabwe taking that one-goal advantage into the break.
His second came just five minutes into the second half and the Warriors captain was able to celebrate his hat-trick with a goal in the 63rd minute.
The result puts Zimbabwe top of Group G, after DR Congo beat Congo Brazzaville 3-1 on Saturday.
The twelve group winners plus the best three group runners-up will qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations along with the hosts Cameroon.
Zimbabwe are targeting a fourth appearance at the Nations Cup finals.