Warriors' big test

CAPE TOWN - The Warriors of Zimbabwe are hoping that the huge support of their nationals living in Cape Town will inspire their team as they face Mali tonight in the Africa Nations Championship (Chan) quarterfinals.

“We know what to expect against them and my boys are hungry to stay in this tournament,” Ian Gorowa, the Warriors Coach, told MTNFootball.com during an interview at the Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard Hotel.

To reach the quarterfinal stage, Mali topped Group A, while Zimbabwe needed to fight on the last day of the Group stage on Monday to edge a hard fighting Burkina Faso side to sail through.

The two teams make the quarterfinal stage for the first time after failing in the last Edition in Khartoum, Sudan.

Although Zimbabwe is the only team not to concede a goal in the Group stage, they must keep their defense tight against a Malian side that has scored in each of their three Group games.

The likes of Ibourahima Sidebe, Idrissa Traore, Abdoulaye Sissoko and Adama Traore are the Malian players the Warriors must keep close watch on if they hope to make it to the next level.

The Mali Coach Djibril Brame told MTNFootball.com that he is happy that they have managed to score five goals in the Group stage, but added that his strikers must be much sharper in the quarter final stage because this is now knock out.

“We do not underrate any team at this level and will be very cautious against Zimbabwe,” added Brame.

The Warriors will look to their play maker Kudakwashe Mahachi, Ali Sadiki and Masimba Mambare (scorer of their only goal in the tournament) to break the Malian defense.

Zimbabwe’s goalkeeper George Chigova, who has put up a good show since the championship started said he knows it will be a tall order, but he hopes to continue with a good run in the tournament. – MTNFfootball.com

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