HomeSportSuspense grips Zim fans again

Suspense grips Zim fans again

Itai Dzamara

SOMETHING had to happen at some point for the race for the African Cup of Nations soccer finals to remain competitive until the final round of matches this weekend.

T face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>That something happened in the Malian capital Bamako two weeks ago. The under-achieving but well-supported Warriors, with odds stacked against them – especially after losing 2-1 to minnows Seychelles – produced the magic.

They held the Malians to a goal-less draw thereby keeping the race wide open.

Millions of Zimbabwean soccer lovers, some with a pervasive feeling of fear before the battle and others feeling confident, will get answers tomorrow.

It is the umpteenth time the local soccer fans have found themselves in such a situation and have always been left a disappointed lot.

Indeed, although a lot of enthusiasm, anxiety and great expectations will grip the giant National Sports Stadium tomorrow afternoon, the mysterious spirit of the unknown, which has always derailed the Warriors at the last hurdle, will be ubiquitously hovering over the whole country.

“We are ready for Saturday and will go all out to rally behind the Warriors. I think the strategy should be to attack right from the first whistle as we need goals,”said Jealous Murwisa, a soccer fan from Highfield in Harare.

“However, honestly the fear of the last minute jinx still grips us. It would be nice to sail through for Tunisia 2004 in order to discard the mentality of fear for the unknown once and for all.”

Indeed, as millions of Zimbabweans will be closely following proceedings at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow, their minds will also be on Victoria, Seychelles where the islanders, without anything at all to play for, will be taking on group leaders Mali.

The Malians lead the group on the strength of a superior goal aggregate.

Zimbabwean soccer fans will also be anxious to know the result from Gabon where Sierra Leone will be seeking the scalp of the hosts. The Warriors will need to have more points or better goal aggregate advantage over Sierra Leone to qualify as the best runners-up.

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