Can Warriors Defy Odds ?

THE Warriors face off with Seychelles in their last Group A match on Wednesday night, hoping to beat Seychelles by a 4 goal margin in the least, if they entertain any hope of reaching the last eight of the Cosafa tournament currently underway in Namibia.. However, Kalisto Pasuwa’s men must already be studying flights schedule after a sluggish start to the campaign which saw them stuttering to a 0-0 draw against Madagascar on Monday night.

By Tafadzwa Ndiraire

The result left them third in the group and two points behind joint leaders Swaziland and Madagascar after drawing 2-2 against Swaziland in their opening match of the campaign. With Swaziland hammering Seychelles 4-0 in an earlier match, the Warriors will be praying fervently that Swaziland and Madagascar who face off in the other match tonight play a goalless draw to enhance their chances of progressing to the knock out stages.

Should that happen, the Warriors will need to bury Seychelles under an avalanche of goals to finish top of the group which would see them advancing to the last eight of the tournament. The Warriors need to beat Seychelles 5-0 to be precise for them to go through.

But with the way Pasuwa’s men squandered opportunities against Madagascar, it’s a mission impossible. Zimbabwe still basking in the glow of the Warriors’ qualification for the 2017 African Cup of Nations finals to be hosted in Gabon with a game to spare after a convincing victory over the Flames of Malawi , have looked very ordinary at the Cosafa tournament currently in Namibia without their foreign based stars.

There is only one foreign based player, Charlton Mashumba in the team taking part at the regional tournament but the Jomo Cosmos striker was guilty of missing chances against Madagascar. His strike partner veteran Obadiah Tarumbwa was also found wanting in front of goal. Zimbabwe is one of the most successful teams at the regional tournament, having lifted the tournament a record four times. Zambia have also lifted the Cosafa Cup on four occasions.

But the Warriors could find themselves crashing out of the tournament in the first round for the second successive year.

Last year, Pasuwa’s men then under the guidance of his assistant Saul Chaminuka, displayed a lacklustre show at the Cosafa tournament in South Africa which saw them bowing out in the preliminary stage after they were handed a 4-1 hammering by Namibia.

While Pasuwa has proved his credentials at club and senior national team level, winning four successive titles with Dynamos and becoming the third coach to qualify Zimbabwe to the African Cup of Nations finals, he is yet to make a mark on the regional tournament.

Tongai Mwenje

Tongai Mwenje is a Senior Editor with Zimbabwe's largest online sports magazine Sportbrief He has been writing professionally since 2012 and currently writes for technology and sport blogs. He has vast experience in digital marketing, sports reporting and analysis. He is also a Sports and Technology columnist with Financial Gazette Online Sports Column and Technology Magazine respectively.

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