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Sports World News of Sunday, 15 January 2017

Source: soka25east.com

AFCON 2017 : Profile of the Zimbabwe national team

The Zimbabwe national football team is the national team of Zimbabwe and is controlled by the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA).

Currently ranked position 102nd by FIFA, there are under one of four African coaches at this years tournament,Calisto Pasuwa. Willard Katsande serves as the team captain.

Brief History

Nicknamed the Warriors,Zimbabwe national team has made only two previous appearances at the continental stage.

Their past record at Afcon has not been impressive as out of the six games they have played, they have won two and lost four games.

Before making their first appearance in 2004, Warriors narrowly missed to participate in 1994 Nations Cup when they lost by one goal courtesy of Zambia ‘s Kalusha Bwalya header.

Zimbabwe football continued to grow aganist all odds as they aganist came back in the 2006 edition as young crop of players developed their skills in a bid to deliver success to the nation.

Afcon 2017 qualification

Zimbabwe had a succesful journey, topping their Group L that had favorites Guinea.Warriors made to the top thrashing Swaziland , ending the campaign with 11 points after three wins, two draws and one defeat in a dead rubber away in Guinea,having already qualified.

Squad Overview

Zimbabwe squad consists of young promising players who are ready to rumble at the top scene.Khama Billiat who plays for South Africa side Mamelodi Sundowns will be depended in the hunt of goals.Though he has not replicated his top club form for the southern african nation, many will expecting him to prove his effectiveness that pushed Down’s to Africa Champions League groly.

Another player that will play a big role for the warriors is KV Oostende forward,Knowledge Musona who is expected to patner with Khama upfront.He has scored at will for his club and pocceses the quality with expectations to thrive in pushing the Zim’s past group stages.

Willard Katsande will be another key player to watch.At 30, Katsande has already won PSL twice with Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa.He plays the midfielder role with ease, always providing perfect passes hence will use his experience effectively to marshal contests and break up opposations attack in the heart of the park to the advantage of the forwards in hunt of the goals.

The other band of players to keep an eye on will be home based players consisting the likes of Teenage Hadebe, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Lawrence Mhlanga and Elisha Muroiwa all who have established themselves as useful options in the Warriors past international matches.

Afcon 2017 pairing

Zimbabwe are in a tough Group B where they will play alongside title favourites Senegal, Algeria and Tunisia.

It will need a miracle for the Warriors rise up to the challenge and defend the nation’s flag gallantly in Gabon and be able to go past group stage.

The first two teams in each group will advance to the knock out stage of the competitions before the last four emerges who will compete to determine which two makes it to the final for the chance to be crowned champions of African football 2017.

2017 Afcon squad

Goalkeepers

Bernard Donovan Fungai (How Mine)Mkuruva Tatenda (Dynamos)Mawaya Takabva (ZPC Kariba)

Defenders

Nhamoinesu Costa (AC Sparta Praha)Mhlanga Lawrence (Chicken Inn)Muroiwa Elisha (Dynamos)Hadebe Teenage Lingani (Chicken Inn)Bhasera Onismor (Supersport United)Kangwa Bruce (Azam FC)Machapa Oscar (AS Vita Club)Zvirekwi Hardlife (Caps United)

Midfielders

Phiri Danny (Golden Arrows)Katsande Willard (Kaizer Chiefs)Nakamba Marvelous (Vitesse Arnhem)Mahachi Kudakwashe (Golden Arrows)Billiat Khama (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Strikers

Musona Knowledge (KV Oostende)Ndoro Tendai (Orlando Pirates)Kadewere Philana Tinotenda (Djurgardens IF)Mushekwi Nyasha (Dalian Yifang)Rusike Evans (Maritzburg United)Rusike Tyrell Matthew Benjamin (Club Sportif Sfaxien)Malajila Cuthbert Lifasi (Bidvest Wits)