Warriors victory certain - Chiyangwa

HARARE - Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa has said the Warriors should easily beat Swaziland in their forthcoming 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Warriors first travel to the Somhlolo Nation Stadium in Mbabane for the first of their back-to-back matches tomorrow before returning to Harare for the return match at the National Sports Stadium on Easter Monday.

With Swaziland leading Group L with four points from two matches, the second-placed Warriors need positive results in both encounters to gain control of the group.

The Warriors are also on four points but trail Sihlangu only on goal difference while Guinea and Malawi have a point each.

“It is my belief that we are going to win away in Swaziland and win again when we play here on Monday. Zimbabweans expect nothing short of victory against Swaziland,” Chiyangwa said yesterday after the team’s training session at the National Sports Stadium.

“It is important for you to play extremely well when you are on national duty. Better than what you were doing at your clubs.

“Everybody will be watching you guys. What you do on the pitch will also help me lure sponsors to put in money. Once you don’t do well and continue on the losing path, then there will be a big issue.”

The Zifa president said he is working hard in the background to secure sponsorship to cater for the players’ welfare so that they can concentrate on football.

Chiyangwa said the players should not be worried by the plot to fix the matches against Swaziland unearthed by Zifa in the past few weeks.

“You are very much aware that prior to this game, there has been some talk of match-fixing...we still processing the information to establish where this came from and how it had been taking place,” Chiyangwa said.

“I trust that these are your careers and if somebody offers you more money so that you lose, please inform us so that we know about it.”

Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane, who will be travelling to Swaziland for the match, said: “Obviously, we should be able to win against Swaziland; I’m assuming it’s not a difficult game for all these stars. Then on Monday we will finish the job here, in this very stadium.”

Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa is, however, concerned with the threat posed by Harris Bulunga’s men especially on the break.

“We are playing away from home and we are not going there to sit but we want to attack; we desperately need the points,” Pasuwa said.

“We are however playing against a team which is good on the counter attack. They sit back a lot and want to hit you on the counter attack. We need to unlock their defence in order for us to come up with the three points.”

The former Dynamos coach admitted tomorrow’s match will not be a stroll in the park for the Warriors.

“Looking at the two teams on paper; it looks like it will be easy for us to beat Swaziland but that is not the case,” he said.

“Remember, we saw such big teams like Nigeria struggling to beat Swaziland. At the moment the team at the top of our group is Swaziland and we definitely cannot underrate them.

“We need to be very positive for us to have a good result in Swaziland. They are a good team and we cannot just go there and think just because they are Swaziland, we will win the game.”

At yesterday’s training session, Pasuwa had a full complement of the players he had called up with the exception of Nyasha Mushekwi, Brendan Galloway, Tendai Darikwa and Macauley Bonne.

The United Kingdom-based trio of Galloway, Darikwa and Bonne has pulled out of the squad due to various reasons.

Mushekwi was expected to join the rest of his teammates late yesterday after arriving from China.

The Warriors are expected to fly to Johannesburg this morning before connecting to Mbabane by road.


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