Warriors acting coach Rahman Gumbo has challenged his troops to go past neighbouring Zambia’s hurdle to book a place in the finals of the Southern Region annual football showcase, the COSAFA Cup when they take on Chipolopolo at Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow evening in South Africa.
The match kicks off at 19:30 hours.
However, the first semifinal match would have kicked off earlier, 17:00 hours, with Lesotho taking on the Zebras of Botswana at the same venue.
Zimbabwe, who looked a much organized side than all the teams at the tournament dispatched Comoros 2-0 with Evans Rusike and Khama Billiat finding the net while Zambia came from a goal down to force a 2-all draw against Malawi whom they finally beat on penalty shootouts.
Speaking from South Africa, Warriors coach, Gumbo, who is standing in for substantive Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa, who flew back into the country to attend his father’s funeral, said they really need to do this for Sunday Chidzambwa.
Gumbo is in charge of the team for the remaining matches of the tournament together with the other assistant in the technical team, Lloyd Mutasa.
“We have to do this for Sunday. He is on the verge of making history, so we need to defend the cup we won last year and help him make history as a coach,” Gumbo said.
Gumbo could not mince his words on the rivalry that exists between the two neighbouring nations.
“This is not going to be an easy match at all. Zambia has always been our greatest rival in the Southern region. They wouldn’t want to lose to us neither would we want to lose to them, so an epic battle is on the cards,” Gumbo said.
He added, “We might not be having our head coach due to reasons beyond our control but we will try to stick to the tournament plan that we had already. We sat down before coming here, so we have a plan in place.”
Gumbo also gave an update on Warriors talisman, Billiat who had a knock against Comoros, and will definitely be sweet music to the ears of Zimbabwean football lovers.
“Khama is feeling better now. The doctors have been monitoring him and I can confirm he will be available for the match against Zambia tomorrow evening,” Gumbo said.
The former Warriors linkman also spoke about how they are using the COSAFA tournament to prepare for the Afcon finals set for Egypt this month.
“If you look at it, we brought 34 players here the reason being that we wouldn’t want to overload our players. Every players has to get a chance. Our advantage is that we have used mostly the same players through the qualifying stages hence we would not have much headache is coming up with the final list for the Afcon finals. However we added a few players to try and add bite and stabilize the team, so these are the players that we really want to see and work on combinations,” he said.
Gumbo made it known that in two weeks’ time, the Warriors technical team will release the final 23 squad that will do duty in Egypt.
“After COSAFA and another match against Algeria, we will then be able to come up with the final 23 squad that will then travel to Egypt,” concluded Gumbo.