FORMER Warriors coach Norman Mapeza has backed the team to get a positive result in their Group G Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Liberia in Monrovia on Sunday.
The FC Platinum gaffer plotted the team’s 3-0 triumph against the same team when he was at the helm of the Zimbabwe senior men’s national team on an interim basis.
He, however, decided to step aside and concentrate on his club, with Sunday Chidzambga taking over.
Zimbabwe, who currently sit on top of their group, which also contains second-placed Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazaville, only need a point to secure their place at the 2019 finals that will be played in Cameroon in June next year.
Mapeza yesterday said he was backing the Warriors to get the desired result and was looking forward to celebrating the team’s qualification for the finals on Sunday evening.
“The team is strong enough to complete the task,” he said. “We are behind the national team. I wish them well. My wish is that we all celebrate come midnight after the game on Sunday.
“Let’s hear people beating drums celebrating the Warriors triumph and qualification into the 2019 Afcon finals. I also want to be part of those celebrations.”
Under Chidzambga, the team has continued on the right track, where they have picked four points away from home against Congo Brazzaville and Congo DR, while they drew at home with the latter.
They, however, face a tough task on Sunday against a side still in with a good chance of qualifying for the finals, as they have so far collected four points.
The top two teams from each group qualify for the finals.
The Warriors had a relatively easy ride when the two teams first met, with skipper Knowledge Musona scoring a hat trick, but they will find Sunday’s tie tougher against a team that generally does well at home.
In the last qualifiers, Liberia managed wins over Djibouti and Tunisia in their own backyard, while they played out a 2-2 draw against Togo, but two defeats away from home saw them fail to make it to Gabon 2017, where the Warriors participated.
So far in the 2019 qualifiers, Liberia have managed to pick up four points from a possible six and they will see this as an opportunity to haul themselves back into contention for a place at next year’s finals.
The Warriors will be looking to put behind them a difficult week, where due to delays in securing funding, proper training only commences today, as the players only grouped late yesterday. Newsday