Warriors carry SADC`s hope

by | Mar 30, 2021 | Sport | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi
Zimbabwe has once again asserted itself as the dominant soccer playing nation in the Southern African community, following an early qualification to the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Yaounde Cameroon early next year with a game in hand.

Triumphant Warriors of Zimbabwe were joined by Malawi who beat the Cranes of Uganda 1-0 in their final qualifying match played in Blantyre.

A diving header by Richard Mbulu gave the Flames the all important goal that set them firmly on the road to Cameroon.
The two neighbours will represent the region at the African soccer jamboree to be held early next year from January to February.

Last night the Warriors went into an academic match against Zambia at the giant National Sports Stadium, with coach Zdravko “Loga” Logarusic fielding a fringe side which rather struggled to a two nil loss.

The lackadaisical attitude they adopted against their Northern neighbour was testimony to the little value they attached to the game.

This one was just but a dead rubber whose result is of no consequence to the Warriors’ standing.

So far so good for the Warriors as nothing stands in the way of the team in their triumphal march to a third successive appearance at the premier African football bonanza, to be held in the West African nation of Cameroon.

As it stands, Zimbabwe (at 112) is ranked higher than Malawi (123) in the world standings, and though the difference is marginal, it means the country has a better chance of progressing on paper compared to their regional counterparts.

Zimbabwe holds the hopes of this soccer-crazy region to bring back the coveted prize for the first time in 25 years as they make another dance with champions in this epic battle of Africa’s cream de la cream of football.

A determined Zambia needed a double from their enterprising frontman Patrick Daka who gifted them with a well deserved consolation for the qualifiers.

It is however understandable that Loga chose caution and rested his best players to avoid injuries and possible red cards.
“It’s disappointing but I had to give a chance to some of these players to prove themselves. I really needed to assess some of them and now I have an idea of their strengths and weaknesses”, said Logarusic.

“It was a tough match and we have picked some positives from it though. The most important thing is that we managed to qualify for AFCON and we take it from there,” he said.