COVID-19 and injuries have denied the Zimbabwe national football team the chance to assemble the best Afcon squad possible. The team that went to Cameroon is not the strongest — in fact, the nation watches them with hope and not expectation.
But one thing that cannot be taken away from the team that lost 1-0 to Senegal is their fighting spirit. What they lack, they made up for it with spirit, passion and determination.
The Warriors exhibited a level of game intelligence that saw Senegal relying on an injury time penalty to win.
Zimbabwe have a system in terms of the way they play that will evolve naturally against Malawi so that the team can strike a balance between defence and attack.
The nation should be optimistic. Malawi and Guinea can be beaten.
In Norman Mapeza we should trust.
The defeat against Senegal was heartbreaking, but there is no reason to be despondent. The Warriors were not humiliated — Senegal sweated buckets to walk away with three points.
It’s easy to criticise but as B-Metro we prefer to but cheer the team — the tournament is far from over, after all and the Warriors have a great chance to advance from their group.
Make no mistake, the impressive loss against Senegal will spur the players to do better in their next match.
Zimbabwe must feel confident but not complacent against Malawi. Malawi are not at Afcon by mistake, they must not be taken lightly.
Zimbabwe struggled for goals during the Afcon qualifiers, their games were tough to watch and highlighted an appalling profligacy in attack.
The lack of inventiveness upfront during the qualifiers and against Senegal can be solved and should be solved — after all we have Knowledge Musona, Tino Kadewere, Prince Dube and Kuda Mahachi in the squad.
Mapeza has a plethora of talented attacking players at his disposal and finding a spot for all of them is nigh on impossible. We hope those he selects will deliver.
As much as Zimbabwe have been poor upfront, their record is exceptional at the back, a fact that was enhanced by the selection of Petros Mhari, a goalkeeper with a spider’s web for hands.
This team might not be the strongest, but it could prove to be the most successful Warriors yet and it deserves our faith and support.
Go Warriors go!