RARELY have the Warriors fans greeted an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) draw with so much optimism and excitement.
The Ian Gorowa-coached side were this week handed Tanzania for the 2015 Morocco Afcon second round qualifier to be played over two legs with the winner advancing to the final round where a victor of the match between Mozambique and Sudan awaits.
The winner of this round will book a place in Group F, whose other teams are 2012 champions Zambia, Cape Verde and Niger.
The two leading teams from this group, after a mini-league contest, will go to Morocco, along with other six group leaders and their runners up. The best third-placed side will qualify for the finals with hosts Morocco.
Immediately after the draw was made known, Warriors fans turned to social networks and predicted an easy passage for their team which has not been to the continental showpiece since 2006.
“If we fail to qualify from this group then we are not a football nation,” Baba Zuva wrote on his Facebook account.
Lesley Marebera wrote: “Not bad at all. We have a very good chance here. The coach should keep the Chan team then add Tendai Ndoro, Willard Katsande, Edward Sadomba, Washington Arubi, Cuthbert Malajila, Kingston Nkhatha, Ronald Chitiyo and Silas Songani.
“With this qualifying system, I think this is probably the easiest route we will get,” Elijah Mutyavaviri said.
“This is a good draw. Let’s hope the Warriors don’t disappoint us as usual. Cuthbert Dube (Zifa president) and his executive should start running around to get sponsors for these games, not to wait for the last minute. Go Warriors go,” Soulman posted on our sister paper NewsDay website.
Another reader by the name Observer posted: “Can we go to the drawing board now, before the game. instead of using that lame statement after we have been beaten.”
Tanzania has already started their preparations for the Warriors tie and have lined up two friendly matches against Burundi and Malawi.
Tanzania Football Federation media officer Boniface Wambura said: “Zimbabwe is a good team and this serves up a tough clash for us since we have to eliminate a tough opponent. We will begin our preparations by playing friendlies with teams like Burundi over the weekend and we will face Malawi early next month.
Group A : Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Namibia/Congo/Libya/Rwanda
Group B : Mali, Algeria, Ethiopia, winner of Sao Tomé/Benin/Malawi/Chad.
Group C : Burkina Faso, Angola, Gabon, winner of Liberia/Lesotho/Kenya/Comoros.
Group D : Ivory Coast, Cameroon, DR Congo, winner of Swaziland/Sierra Leone/Gambia/Seychelles.
Group E : Ghana, Togo, Guinea, winner of Madagascar/Uganda/Mauritania/Eq Guinea.
Group F : Zambia, Cape Verde, Niger, winner of Tanzania/Zimbabwe/Mozambique/South Sudan.
Group G : Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, winner of Burundi/Botswana/CAR/Guinea Bissau.