RUBAVU - Warriors assistant coach Saul Chaminuka has said his side is focused on giving everything to ensure an outright victory against Mali in their African Nations Champions (Chan) Group D second match at Umuganda Stadium tomorrow.
Zimbabwe find themselves anchoring their group after losing to Zambia 1-0 in their opening game match while Mali twice fought from behind to force a 2-2 draw against Uganda in the other Group D encounter.
The result left the Warriors with a tough task, needing to win their next match against the Eagles of Mali tomorrow to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the next round.
Chaminuka has downplayed the notion that his charges are now under pressure to win their match against Mali, insisting they are not scared but eager to give a good account of themselves.
“I think we are now more than ready for the game. We saw where we got it wrong and we are working hard to rectify those mistakes,” Chaminuka said.
“What is left now is for us to play football and get the required result. Everyone is focused on the game and if we correct our mistakes from the opening match then nothing will stop us from picking up a win. We will approach the game with the same philosophy of making sure that we fight hard for what we came here for.”
“Whether we get it or not, but at the end of the day, we must go out there and say that we gave it our all. That’s our approach for the game.
“We don’t want to lose focus but concentrate. We started well in the first match despite losing in the end. But this is a new challenge and our focus is to go out there and give our all. I am sure we will get it right against Mali. I am confident the goals will come against Mali.”
Chaminuka said they don’t want to bank on what happens in other group matches but would prefer to do duty for themselves by winning their last two matches.
After facing Mali tomorrow Zimbabwe will then play Uganda in their final group match. For the Warriors to be guaranteed a place in the knockout stages, they need outright wins against Mali and Uganda.
“We need to take it one game at a time. Our focus now is on Mali. They are a very good side and need to be respected. We saw them against Uganda, they are fast when attacking and also strong at the back,” he added.
“But we will be ready for them. We need to balance our attack and defence to ensure a good result. We are prepared to fight and go to the next round of the competition.”
Interestingly, Zimbabwe beat Mali in the quarter-finals at the previous Chan tournament two years ago in South Africa and are hoping history will repeat itself tomorrow.