Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
Former national team left back Cephas Chimedza believes the Warriors will write their own piece of history by qualifying for the next stage of the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since making their debut at the 2004 finals.
Zimbabwe will be making a fifth appearance at the finals when they take on Senegal on Monday in their Group B opener which also has Guinea and Malawi.
The Warriors though have always bowed out at the group stage in each of the four appearances but Chimedza says that bad luck will come to an end this time around in Cameroon, the place of agony in 1993 when Cameroon denied them a ticket to the 1994 Fifa World Cup finals in the United States of America.
“Without pressure and much expectations, I think our #Warriors will qualify for the knockout round, add to that the new qualifying format,” said the 2004 Zimbabwe Soccer Star of the Year who has 32 senior national team caps.
Chimedza was also part of the Warriors’ 2006 Afcon squad, scoring a goal in the 2-1 win over Ghana.
The Warriors can qualify for the round of 16 as group winners, runners up or one of the four third best finishers.
Meanwhile, the Warriors’ preparations continue unabated at their tournament base in Baffousam with the squad having a one and half hours training session on Thursday and were set to have a two hour session yesterday as the clock ticks towards the opening match against the Lions of Teranga on Monday.
Team manager Wellington Mpandare told Chronicle Sport that everything was going according to script and the technical team was also happy with the training conditions.
“We had our first training session yesterday (Thursday) from 1430hrs to 1600hrs then we will have our second today from 1400hrs to 1600hrs. There is so much improvement on the training field from the one we saw when we came for the draw. It looks like it’s the main pitch,” said Mpandare.
United Kingdom based Jordan Zemura, the only Warrior missing from camp as a result of Covid-19 after the virus was detected in his team, forcing authorities to put them in isolation, was expected to have his retest yesterday before immediately flying to Cameroon, if cleared.