Pharaohs don't scare us, says Arubi

HARARE - Zimbabwe have virtually nothing to play for except pride when they take on the mighty Egypt in a 2014 World Cup qualifier Sunday at the National Sports Stadium.

The Warriors have had a dismal campaign in Group G and sit at the bottom of the table with only a single point from three games.

Sunday’s opponents, Egypt still have a 100 percent record and are in control of the group with a maximum of nine points from three games.

A win for the Pharaohs Sunday coupled with a defeat for second-placed Guinea, who play Mozambique this weekend, would mean that the North Africans will qualify for the final knockout stages.

The Warriors dream to reach Brazil next year was effectively ruined in March when the team lost 2-1 to the Pharaohs in Alexandria.

Bob Bradley’s men will stroll out into the pitch high on confidence on Sunday knowing that they could effectively seal their number one spot in Group G.

Warriors coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels has stuck to his guns and selected a relatively young squad with the exceptions of a few older players.

On paper, Zimbabwe is expected to be walloped by the Pharaohs but judging by the way the team performed in Alexandria, it is going to be no easy ride for the North Africans.

Warriors goalkeeper Washington Arubi, who had a sterling performance in Egypt, believes this is a good opportunity for the team to play party spoilers.

“We don't have any problem with the Pharaohs. We respect them but we are not scared to play against them,” Arubi told the Weekend Post this week.

“The chances are high for us to win this game. We have to win it so that we create this winning mentality in our squad.

“Egypt will definitely fight for a win but we have to focus on ourselves and I believe we have enough good players and a good team to challenge Egypt."

Arubi has been in fine form for his South African club, University of Pretoria where he scooped the Player of the Year gong for the just ended season.

If the former Highlanders and Dynamos goalie carries his club form into today’s match, Egypt will need something extra special to be able to beat him.

Arubi will have the task to command a young defence from the back and he is confident that the new breed f Warriors will excel today.  

“It is important to have young players in the team because it brings energy and hunger and to fight for positions thus creating healthy competition in the team,” he said.

"We have to forget what happened during the first leg; we would have done even better but conceded that last minute penalty.

“We have some great memories of that game against them even though it ended disappointingly but we learnt something from the encounter.” – Weekend Post


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