Zimbabwe Warriors head coach Kalisto Pasuwa is optimistic of making a mark at the 2017 Afcon despite describing their group as tough.
Pasuwa took comfort in their 1-1 draw against the Indomitable Lions in what he described as a good game that was a morale booster for the team just ahead of the penultimate tournament they have been preparing for.
“We clearly know we are in a tough group that includes the likes of Algeria and Senegal, but as a coach I have always told my players football is decided on the pitch, and if they can put enough effort just like they did against giants Cameroon in the friendly, then we will surprise everyone.”
The Warriors are fresh from a 1-1 draw against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on Tuesday in Yaounde and will be hoping to get another breakthrough on Sunday in their opener against star-studded Algeria Desert Foxes with the likes of Riyad Mahrez, his Leicester team mate Islam Slimani and Porto’s Brahimi.
“Our first game against Algeria on Sunday is very important and I have told the players in a tournament that the first game counts a lot. I am happy because our opponents will treat us like underdogs, taking the pressure off us and making it easier for a good surprise from the Warriors. Our aim now is to qualify for the quarter-finals and we will take it from there.” Pasuwa said.
In the game on Tuesday in Yaounde the Warriors grabbed an early lead through their in-form striker, Tendai Ndoro, who latched onto a Cuthbert Malajila flick from a long goal-kick by Tatenda Mukuruva, before finding the back of the net. On the other hand, the hosts found an equaliser through a penalty and Benjamin Moukandjo converted.