The Zimbabwe football national team will not be intimidated by Zambia’s pedigree when the two teams clash in the last of a two-legged Championship of African Nations (Chan) qualifier at Levi Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola tomorrow.
The team was expected to leave Harare early this morning for Lusaka aboard a chartered plane at the benevolence of Zifa president Cuthbert Dube.
The two teams played a goalless draw at Rufaro Stadium last Sunday, a result that disappointed many Warriors’ fans, but assistant coach Mkhuphali Masuku believes his side is well poised to qualify for the finals set for South Africa next year.
Masuku said his side is capable of upsetting its more illustrious opponents.
A win or a scoring draw will see the Warriors through while Zambia needs an outright win to qualify.
“Zambia is playing in front of its supporters and that obviously makes it favourites to go through, but there is always a chance for an upset,” said Masuku.
“We were disappointed that we could not get a win at home but the good thing is we played a goalless draw which is a positive result in these two-legged ties. We have to build on that and try to do better in the next match. I think we are actually at an advantage because a scoring draw will favour us. While Zambia is a good side we have nothing to fear.”
Masuku also said the preparations had been conducted well.
“I think we have prepared well for this match and we have been trying combinations that we will use in Zambia. The game will be very tactical and we are anticipating facing different situations and we have prepared accordingly.”
The Warriors had their morning training session at Gwanzura Stadium yesterday, minus striker Tendai Ndoro who left the country for trials in South Africa earlier in the week.
FC Platinum’s Donald Ngoma has replaced Ndoro, in addition to Bruce Kangwa and Kuda Mahachi who joined the Warriors camp on Monday. At yesterday’s work-out session, emphasis was put on set-pieces and shooting while the last quarter was spent on penalty shoot outs.
If the match ends goalless at regulation time, it will go to penalties and it is clear that coach Ian Gorowa is anticipating that eventuality in tomorrow’s match.
“Of course we want to win the match but we have to go out there prepared for all possibilities,” said Masuku.
Captain Masimba Mambare, who limped off from a training session on Wednesday after picking a knock on his knee, was back at training yesterday.