Warriors hold Ivory Coast

HARARE - Zimbabwe began their preparations for the 2017 Africa cup of Nations (Afcon) finals with a spirited goalless draw against Ivory Coast in Abidjan on Boxing Day.

Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa was forced to travel with a squad made up of locally-based players as the rest of the contingent on his provisional roster still had club commitments in Europe and South Africa.

The only foreign-based player in the team which travelled to Ivory Coast was Djurgardens IF striker Tino Kadewere, who started up front for the Warriors.

Elephants coach Michel Dussuyer was also forced to use only local players as the rest of his squad ply their trade across Europe.

The home side wasted a good chance to win the match when they were awarded an 86th minute penalty which was saved by Warriors keeper Donovan Bernard.

Zimbabwe, who are in Group B together with Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia, are scheduled to take on Cameroon on January 10 before they travel to Gabon for the finals which start four days later.

There are plans for the team to take on South Africa, Egypt and Libya but the dates for those matches are yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leads the cast for Gabon as the hosts became the first team to name their final 2017 Afcon squad.

Gabon have also named Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong despite the player being left out of November’s World Cup qualifier in Mali.

Ndong was in the capital city Libreville but failed to turn up for international duty ahead of the Mali game last month, forcing the Gabonese Football Federation (Fegafoot) to send him back to England.

But a remorseful Ndong, who held clear-the-air talks with Fegafoot has been included in a 23-man Panthers squad.

Other names to make the final party include Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina, Bruno Ecuélé Manga of Cardiff City and China-based striker Malick Evouna.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.