BLOEMFONTEIN – Zimbabwe coach Ian Gorowa said overconfidence was his worry ahead of his side’s crucial African Nations Championship semifinal against Libya at the Free State Stadium.
The Warriors – Southern Africa’s lone representation in the knockout stages – stand to make a historic appearance in the final even though the formidable Libyans stand in their way.
“My only concern heading to the Libya game is overconfidence from my team and not nerves,” said Gorowa. “That is my issue. I thought that we showed being nervous early on in our quarterfinal win over Mali. We’d like to get to the final and now the pressure is there as the remaining Southern African team in the competition.”
Gorowa’s charges have captured the crowds at this year’s African Nations Championship with their exciting brand of carpet football while his squad players have attracted attention elsewhere, particularly South Africa’s Premier Soccer League clubs.
But the focus is the big milestone ahead, with Zimbabwe aiming at being the third team from the region to win a major continental title after the Africa Cup of Nations triumphs for Bafana Bafana in 1996 and Zambia two years ago.
“This is the first time we have made it past the group stages in this competition. I’m just happy that my players have been showing hunger and passion throughout the competition and believe that we can do it. I also believe we can do it,” Gorowa said.
Libya beat Gabon 4-2 on penalties in Polokwane on Sunday to get to this stage, after the scores were tied at 1-1 after extra time.
Javier Clemente’s side have been private with their preparations while always maintaining that their target in this tournament was to give their young players some international exposure.
“This is a young side that is out to learn and enjoy the tournament. The boys have grown in confidence with each game. We respect all our opponents and just want to give of our best,” said the Spaniard.
– City Press