Warriors in right direction: Mapeza

HARARE - Norman Mapeza believes the Warriors squad possesses the necessary strength to build the foundations for a successful 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification.

Zimbabwe began their Group G campaign with a positive 3-0 win over Liberia at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Belgium-based striker Knowledge Musona scored a hat-trick that put Zimbabwe on top of the group which also includes DR Congo and Congo.

It was an all-round performance from Mapeza’s charges which left the nation with huge hopes of another fruitful campaign after qualification for the 2017 Afcon finals held in Gabon.

“It was a good game. I think we were perfect in almost every department,” the Warriors interim coach said.

“We were compact in midfield and I think upfront we were just clinical. I can only congratulate the boys for a job well done today.

“I also want to salute the fans, they came in large numbers, they gave us maximum support. I think that’s what we needed as a team going forward.”

With the Warriors’ next Afcon qualifier in Group G away to Congo coming next year in March, Mapeza said the team needs to maximise on the Fifa calendar dates to stay in shape.

“Let’s make use of the Fifa dates and let’s have as many friendly matches as we can so that these guys will get to know each other better and see what happens come next year,” he said.

On his prospects of getting the Warriors’ job on a fulltime basis, Mapeza said: “Everybody knows I am employed at FC Platinum and Zifa might decide on getting a different coach. I’m here on a temporary basis and my only advice to the one who would come in is to keep this team.”

Midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, who was again at his best dictating the pace of the game from the middle of the park, also feels the team is in the right direction.

“I think we needed this. It’s always important to win the first game in any campaign and our win has boosted our confidence. I think this shows we are in the right direction but we need to keep on working hard,” he said.

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