Captain's rallying call

HARARE – Masimba Mambare, captain of the local-based group of Warriors, believes Zimbabwe still have a good chance of qualifying for next year’s African Nations Championship following Sunday’s 0-0 home draw with Zambia. 

The Warriors are now faced with a daunting task of travelling to the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium this Saturday and get a positive result if they are to qualify for the finals to be held in South Africa.

Playing in front of their own home fans, Chipolopolo are now considered favourites to reach the finals.

“We are still alive in this tie. We are not out,” Mambare told the Daily News on Tuesdday.

“Anything can happen in football and I’m confident that we can come up with a good result in Zambia.

“On Sunday, we played well and it’s only that we failed to find the back of the net.”

The Highlanders midfield star feels the 0-0 result at home will work in the Warriors’ favour if they can get a goal in Zambia.

“Our chances of qualifying for the finals are equally bright considering the fact that we did not concede at home.

“We just need to score in Zambia and this will put pressure on the hosts, which will be good for us.”

The former Motor Action player, however, conceded that it will not be an easy task to upset the Zambians in their own backyard.

“We have been lucky to play Zambia on many occasions in recent months and I have discovered that their team has been together for a very long time. They are a tactically sound team,” said Mambare.

“As for us, we are still bringing in new guys into the team, so we are still fine-tuning our combinations, which will take some time to gel. Zambia’s main strength is their speed on the counter attack, and if we work hard to stop those counter attacks, we will restrict them.

“On our part we need to utilise the chances we create, unlike what happened on Sunday. We played well, but failed to score goals.”

The Warriors travel to the Zambian Copperbelt for the second leg on Thursday.

Zimbabwe will be hoping to qualify for their third Chan tournament after taking part in previous two editions held in Ivory Coast and Sudan.

The Chan tournament is a competition in which teams field players plying their trade in their home countries.

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