THE new crop of Zimbabwe’s senior national soccer team players assembled by Ian Gorowa wrote another piece of history on Saturday when they powered into the semi-finals of the Orange African Nations Championships (Chan) tournament.
Zimbabwe has never gone this far in the continental championships at senior level.
The Warriors, prior to the South African edition of the 2014 Chan tournament, crashed out at group stages in previous two editions held in Ivory Coast and Sudan respectively.
Zimbabwe has also found it difficult to go beyond the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), which is open to players plying their trade in foreign leagues.
The Warriors, who dispatched Mali in a thrilling match in Cape Town, South Africa, are no strangers to winning after they dismissed Zambia last year to win the Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup.
However, going to the tournament few Zimbabweans gave the team chances to go this far.
The reason the national team has not done well in these tournaments despite the undisputable talent Zimbabweans players possess, has been lack of financial resources.
But with the creation of a standalone Sport ministry last year, the situation seems to be changing for the better.
Sport minister Andrew Langa has become a permanent feature in Cape Town where the Warriors are currently based giving the boys moral support.
Langa was instrumental in influencing the government to release $88 000 to the Zimbabwe Football Association for the trip to South Africa.
The money obviously falls far short of requirements, but the gesture went a long way in motivating the boys.
The government’s commitment to such causes has been questioned in the past, but Langa has demonstrated that he intends to be a hands-on minister who is committed to the success of Zimbabwe’s sport.
The nation now needs to rally behind the Warriors because anything is possible at this stage.
Zimbabwe — just like the other four remaining teams at the tournament — now has a chance to pick up a gold, silver or bronze medal. Gorowa has to remain focused and not let the big opportunity slip from our hands.