Warriors’ fans relishes AFCON 2021 success

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The Zimbabwe Warriors have performed dismally in the past AFCON finals although the draw for the 2021 Edition has raised hopes for a better performance in January next year
The Zimbabwe Warriors have performed dismally in the past AFCON finals although the draw for the 2021 Edition has raised hopes for a better performance in January next year

Talkmore Gandiwa

Zimbabwe soccer lovers have a reason to believe!

This follows the recent draw for the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations set for Cameroun in January next year.

Zimbabwe failed dismally at the AFCON 2019 in Egypt where they failed to go past the 1st Round of the competition.

The Warriors were drawn in Group B together with 2019 runners up Senegal, neighbours Malawi and West African giants Guinea.

However, sports analysts have expressed mixed feelings towards the draw as the Zimbabwe national team prepares for AFCON games.

While some of the analysts are relishing the Warriors’ chances in January next year’s finals, others believe challenges faced at the Zimbabwe Football Association could affect the team’s changes come next year.

Analyst Norbert Basvi said the teams’ performance is in ZIFA’s hands as the people responsible for running the country’s favourite team.

“Truth be told, our government and soccer mother body, Zifa, are letting the nation down. ZIFA does little in terms of preparation and player’s welfare.

“Government, on its part, does little to support not just soccer but all sports in Zimbabwe. Players are not motivated well and they are poorly remunerated,” Basvi said.

He said government must take a keen interest in sporting activities which is slowly becoming an area of investing.

Another analyst Leonard Mutesva called the draw fair for The Warriors.

He said Zimbabwe’s prospects were also made excellent by the fact that the team avoided the hosts Cameroon.

“It’s always good to avoid the host nation,” he said. “On paper it’s a good draw, Senegal is an African powerhouse, we need to play well to get a positive result in the first game, but Malawi and Guinea are winnable games.”

He added: “This is arguably the biggest chance we have to progress to the knockout stages. We simply need to prepare better and make sure that the players are well-remunerated so that they focus only on the football.”

He, however, expressed his misgiving towards the current Warriors coach, Zdravko “Loga” Logarusic, adding that the coach was not the right man for the job.

“With Loga we are doomed. This is a group where we can easily scrap to the Round of 16 only and if only we dismiss Loga now. It’s time for him to Log Out,” he said.

Chris Nyakujara, a football enthusiast, also called for ZIFA to be more organized ahead of the finals.

“Two wins to take us to the next round are a possibility. The Zimbabwe national team has to be organised from today.

“Guinea are not a team that can trouble us much if we are drilled well. Malawi can be a walk over. The real game where we need to use dirt tactics is against Senegal,” he said.

In an interview recently, Loga called for unity ahead of the finals.

“This is the high time for the team to unite and receive support from the nation as a whole as we are hoping to have positive results after all these AFCON games.

Though the national team has qualified for the third time to play in the Afcon games it has never progressed past the group stages.

Zimbabwe has played against Senegal twice at the AFCON games, in 2006 and 2015, losing both matches to the Lions of Teranga.

In a game against the Flames of Malawi in the AFCON 2017, the Warriors triumphed against their Southern African neighbours.

Guinea has been characterized as the most dangerous team since they broke Zimbabwe’s eight-year unbeaten run after beating the Warriors.

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