Zim bank on home support

WITH A capacity crowd expected at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow, the Warriors are banking on multitudes of fans to carry them across the finish line when they host Congo.

Zimbabwe takes on the Red Devils in the final game of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group G campaign tomorrow afternoon.

The Warriors need to just avoid defeat and they will be going to their fourth Afcon finals to be held in Egypt from June 21 to July 19 later this year.

A defeat for Sunday Chidzambwa’s charges will see them bow out on head-to-head basis should the other match between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Liberia produce a winner.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s match, several Warriors players spoke of the desire to see fans coming in their thousands and rally behind them.
Zifa are counting that fans will come in their numbers and have already put tickets for the crucial tie on sale with fans intending to watch the Warriors’ in action having to pay as much as $200 for the VVIP ticket.
Tickets in the other sections of the venue are going for $100 and $50 while tickets for the rest of the ground entry were pegged at $10.
Advance tickets were released on the market at least a month ago with fans using online platforms and various other walk-in outlets to purchase.
The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) announced that they had sold at least 18 000 advanced tickets as of yesterday.

They are expecting more fans to buy tickets today as there will be no paying points at the venue.  
The match has attracted a lot of attention among Zimbabweans and there will be no shortage of backers for the home team come kick-off tomorrow.

“We are playing at home and I think we don’t need to put ourselves under pressure,” Warriors and Bloemfontein Celtic defender Ronald Pfumbidzai told the Daily News. 
“They (Congo) are a good team and will obviously come here looking for a result. The good thing is that we are playing at home and we are also counting on our home fans to come in their numbers and rally behind us. We need them to help us unsettle our opponents.”

Chidzambwa’s charges head into tomorrow’s match sitting at the top of Group G with eight points ahead of Liberia, who have seven points, while the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo are on six and five points respectively.

All the four teams in the group — Zimbabwe, Liberia, DRC and Congo — still have a chance of qualifying for the finals.
In the reverse fixture against Congo in September last year, Zimbabwe took an early lead through Khama Billiat but the Red Devils equalised through Thievy Bifouma in the second half as the two sides settled for a 1-1 draw.
Defender Alec Mudimu also hopes the home support will spur the side on to victory.

“We are all excited for the game but we need to be very cautious. They (Congo) will obviously come here looking for that win because they are still in with a chance to qualify,” the Cefn Druids defender said.

“I think it’s how we react from our last against Liberia. We have a very good group of players and get along quite well so I think we can do this very well.
“I think if we can do things right keep the ball moving, without taking anything away from Congo, we can get a good result. I hope fans will also play their part, come in their numbers and support the boys.”

Striker Admiral Muskwe, who is on the books of English Premiership side Leicester City, is equally excited to play in front of the home fans for the first time.
His previous caps for the Warriors have all come in international friendly matches away from home.

“Just come down and support the team. Come down and watch us complete the task at hand,” Muskwe urged the Zimbabwe fans. 
Warriors and Le Havre forward Tino Kadewere said: “I only have one message for the fans. We need them to there with us because they are the 12th man. With them it’s going to be easy for us to perform.”

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