Warriors out to shine

AFTER the Warriors’ failure in the last two editions of the Cosafa Castle Cup, Zimbabwe is hoping to go a step further this year.

The Warriors are scheduled to leave for South Africa today with preliminary stages of the competition set to start tomorrow.

Zimbabwe get their Group B campaign with a clash against Mozambique on Sunday. The other teams in the group stage are Madagascar and Seychelles.

The Warriors need to win the group in order to progress to the quarter-finals of the tournament.

In 2015, Zimbabwe went to the tournament in South Africa with Saul Chaminuka in charge of the team since Kalisto Pasuwa was tied up with the Championship of African Nations (Chan) qualifier.

The Warriors were off colour as they drew with Mauritius and Seychelles before a heavy 4-1 loss to Namibia as they crashed out in the preliminary stages.

Last year, Pasuwa was in charge of the team but the results did not improve.

In the first game, Zimbabwe had to come from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw with Swaziland.
In the second match, the Warriors fired blanks in a goalless draw with Madagascar.

Although Pasuwa’s side hammered Seychelles 5-0 in the final group game, it was not enough to secure first place.

This time around, Sunday Chidzambwa is in charge of the Warriors on an interim basis for this competition.
Zimbabwe needs to get a winning start in order to banish those “demons” from the last two editions of the competition.

Goalkeeper George Chigova is confident they will make an impact in South Africa fresh from the resounding 3-0 win over Liberia in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier two weeks ago.

“So far our main focus going into the competition is to make sure we win this group and qualify for the quarter-finals,” Chigova told the Weekend Post.

“Once we get out of this group, we will then take it one game at a time until we reach the final and possibly win the tournament.”

Chidzambwa is also convinced the squad he has selected is capable of doing wonders and reach the final.
The ZPC Kariba coach was the last person to lead the Warriors to Cosafa glory when he guided the team the title on home soil in 2009.

He is hoping for a similar outcome this year as well.

“As a coach you need to get to the final and personally I would like us to get to the final. I have been to the final of the Cosafa Cup twice and I just hope and pray that we will get there,” he said.

“I think we have a good side made up of very skilful and young players which also has experience.  I’m also happy that the youngsters we brought in are quiet good as well as the experienced players.”

With the Warriors starting from the preliminary stages, Chidzambwa is not fazed by facing some of the tricky opponents that have proved to be bogey teams for Zimbabwe in recent years.  
      
“It’s unfortunate that our ranking is low at the moment and those are the rules of the tournament and we just have to comply with that.”


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