Zimbabwe: Zemura and Muskwe face setbacks in English league

Senior Sports Journalist

Just days after returning from the Zimbabwe national team, Admiral Muskwe was thrown into the starting line-up as Luton Town FC suffered a loss to Sheffield United in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Jordan Zemura, who is playing for the AFC Bournemouth title, also returned to his club but was unable to arrive in time to be included in the matchday squad when the Cherries hosted Hull City at the Vitality Stadium.

The duo were part of the Zimbabwe squad that took part in the AFCON tournament in Cameroon. However, they had to return to their clubs early as the Warriors were knocked out in the group stage.

The Warriors finished last in Group B, won by Senegal, followed by Guinea and Malawi, who all reached the last 16. Both Zimbabwe internationals faced further disappointment after their English Premier League clubs suffered losses at the weekend which negatively impacted their respective campaigns.

Zemura’s AFC Bournemouth suffered the biggest blow in their bid for the Championship with the 0-1 home defeat to Hull City.

Bournemouth currently sit in second place, but the gap between them and newspaper leaders Fulham has now widened to eight points.

The Cherries, who have enjoyed a brilliant start to the league, stumbled in two successive games following defeats to Hull City on Saturday and Muskwe’s Luton Town the previous week.

The Championship is now in the second half and the Cherries are expected to improve their game in the remaining fixtures to push for direct promotion to the English Premiership next season.

Zemura could be the next Zimbabwean player to play in the English Premier League next season, but his club face serious competition from Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers in a close battle for the top four.

Muskwe’s Luton Town FC saw their chances of breaking into the top 10 dashed with a 0-2 loss to Sheffield United on Saturday. They swapped places with their opponents who now sit in 11th place as they fell to 13th.

Muskwe flew straight into the club from Cameroon, where he was an unused substitute in the opener against Senegal. He played the last 12 minutes of the 2-1 loss to Malawi and then made his AFCON debut against Guinea. He played 75 minutes in the last game Zimbabwe won 2-1 against the West Africans before returning to his club.

Luton manager Nathan Jones, who has been struggling with a huge backlog, was eager to reunite with the Zimbabwean.

The 23-year-old played 63 minutes as the Hatters’ five-game unbeaten streak came to an end at Bramall Lane. Luton Town finished the match with 10 men.

They were already trailing two goals in three minutes, from Rhian Brewster and Jack Robinson, when centre-back Reece Burke was sent off for pulling Brewster back when he was in goal with half an hour remaining.