CAPE TOWN — After two goalless draws which have left the Warriors on the brink in the African Nations Championships (Chan) finals, only victory in the last Group B against Burkina Faso at the Athlone Stadium tonight will be acceptable.
The Warriors drew 0-0 against Morocco in the opening match last Sunday before firing blanks against Uganda on Thursday to leave them on third place with two points from two matches. Uganda lead the standings with four points and only a victory can take the Warriors to a historic quarter-final place.
In the last two competitions in Ivory Coast and Sudan, the Warriors, under Sunday Chidzambwa and Madinda Ndlovu respectively, bid farewell in the group stages and are hard pressed to finally reach the last eight of the competition.
But while they have exhibited a solid defensive led by skipper Partson Jaure and Eric Chipeta, creativity and the finishing in the last third have left the Warriors in wonderland and in desperate need of three points to make history.
Perhaps a few changes in the Warriors line-up would do the trick. Donald Ngoma, Simba Sithole and Ali Sadiki have been virtual holiday makers in the Mother City in the last 180 minutes and a chance needs to be given to the other players that made the trip.
This chance is not for mere change, but for results to be attained. In place of Ngoma, Sithole of Dynamos and Sadiki, coach Ian Gorowa will do better with Simba Sithole of How Mine, Charles Sibanda and Peter Moyo in the starting line-up.
At the back, Hardlife Zvirekwi and Milton Ncube, who play more advanced roles at their respective clubs Caps United and Highlanders, can be given the leeway to join in the attack as the Warriors have nothing to lose in this match.
Meanwhile, Uganda midfielder Hassan Wasswa is pretty confident the Cranes will progress to the last eight of the Chan.
The Cranes need just a point to qualify to the quarter-finals of this home-based players’ tournament, but Wasswa is bullish
that they will not only progress, but they will do it as Group B leaders.
“Uganda has higher chances of qualifying to quarter-finals as group leaders compared to Morocco,” he said ahead of today’s clash against Morocco in Cape Town, South Africa.
“I wonder why people write Uganda off. I don’t think we’re leading this group by mistake. If Morocco is good enough they would have been at the top of the group by now.
“But again this has made us work even more to silence those who doubt us that we don’t have the potential. People must know that we didn’t come here for a tour.”
The Cranes go into today’s encounter top of the pool with four points, two better than Morocco and Zimbabwe, who face Burkina Faso on the same day. The Stallions have just one point from two games and lost their opener 2-1 to Uganda.
— Sports Reporter/MTNFootball