Time for the Warriors to show true coloursThomas Kwenaite
Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic has called on Zimbabweans to stand firmly behind the team at the upcoming African Nations Cup tournament scheduled for Cameroon and together with his boys they will deliver positive results.
Speaking soon after Zimbabwe were drawn with Senegal, Guinea and Malawi in Group B of the tournament expected to get underway on January 6, Logarusic pleaded for unity of purpose and assured Zimbabweans that he was positive Zimbabwe could get out of the group for the first time in their history.
In spite of qualifying for the biennial tournament on three previous occasions, Zimbabwe have never got out of their group but the Croat feels this could be the first time that the “Warriors” advance to the knockout stages of the tournament.
“This is a huge challenge for us,” admitted Logarusic. “However, we are not going to underestimate anybody because all the teams that have qualified for the tournament would be there because of their quality.
“In our group, if you look at it, Senegal should be considered favorites. But that is only on paper. When we get onto the field, then we have to talk. And I can assure you that we will have serious talks on the field.
“It is a good thing that we have two Southern African teams in the group and so together with Malawi, we should try to stake a claim for all southern African countries and hopefully pass the group stages.”
Loga said Zimbabwe should learn from their past mistakes. He called on authorities to ensure that everything pertaining to the tournament in terms of preparations is taken care of so that they should be able to focus just on playing the game.
“There is talk that we have once again produced a ‘golden generation’ but this is the time for this generation to show the continent what they are capable of and what they can do. Hopefully Cameroon will offer us this opportunity.”
The Croat would be hoping that Khama Billiat regains his sharpness and Knowledge Musona continues to deliver the goods to lead the Warriors next year.
There are two rookies at next year’s tournament – Gambia – and fellow southern African nation Comoros, the island nation qualifying in a group that also included powerful Egypt.
Egypt, by the way, have been paired in the same group D that also include Sudan and Guinea-Bissau where if the last tournament can be used as a yardstick, expect some shocking results.
South Africa would be watching proceedings from the luxury of their homes after failing to beat an understrength Ghanaian side, employing an alien defensive approach in a game that ended 1-1 and then surprisingly succumbed 2-0 to Sudan.
Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde
Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi
Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon
Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau
Group E: Algeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast
Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia