WITH no worries of any of the players missing the crucial encounter against Malawi as result of Covid-19 related issues, Warriors coach Norman Mapeza expects his troops to extinguish “The Flames of Malawi” on the pitch this Friday evening.
48 hours before the match, the Warriors squad returned a clean bill of health after the players tested negative for the obligatory Caf Covid-19 tests, B-Metro Sport was briefed.
The tests were done on Wednesday afternoon in the city of Bafoussam, Cameroon.
The squad is under the care of Doctors Nicholas Munyonga and Edward Chagonda.
Results of the Malawi game have serious implications on the Warriors.
A defeat might as well be the end of the road for Mapeza and his troops in Cameroon.
A win will breathe life into the Warriors campaign going into the final group stages game against Guinea next week.
Zimbabwe has never gone past the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations finals since making its debut in 2004.
Captain Knowledge Musona is fully aware that games are won by scoring goals and forcing the Flames of Malawi to collect the ball as many times from the back of their own nets is the only guaranteed route for the Warriors to conquer.
“We know the expectations from the fans back at home and everyone wants to see us beat Malawi. We have to be ruthless in front of goal. The boys know what the win against Malawi means for us and the fans back at home,” said Musona.
The Warriors lost 0-1 to Senegal in their opening match of the campaign.
After the Senegal loss on Monday, the Warriors didn’t waste any time as they quickly dusted off the defeat by training the very next day with players that didn’t play and the ones who played as substitutes.
Going into the Malawi match, coach Mapeza is under no illusion that his opponents will be an easy walk in the park.
Malawi lost by a goal to nil against Guinea.
Goalkeepers: Petros Mhari (FC Platinum), Martin Mapisa (FC Zamora), Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars)
Defenders: Peter Muduwa (Highlanders), Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth), Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Nkana), Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth), Godknows Muriwa (Dynamos), Gerald Takwara (Venda Football Academy), Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo), Bruce Kangwa (Azam), Onismor Bhasera (Supersport United)
Midfielders: Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United), Never Tigere (Azam), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Supersport United), Ishmael Wadi (JDR Stars), Kundai Benyu (Vestra)
Forwards: Admiral Muskwe (Luton Town), Prince Dube (Azam), David Moyo (Hamilton Academical), Knowledge Musona (C) (Al Tai), Tinotenda Kadewere (Olympique Lyonnais)