The stadium was packed to the rafters, the atmosphere was electric and the Warriors did not disappoint as they measured up to the task at hand. The Warriors only needed a point to qualify; they did justice by delivering the much awaited victory to book a place at the upcoming AFCON tournament set for June in Egypt.
It was Khama Billart and Konwledge Musona who scored in the 18th and 36th minutes respectively to guarantee our participation in the biennial tournament. The Congo Republic also had an uphill task of scoring 3 goals if they were to qualify for the coveted continental football showcase. This task proved to be too steep for the Central Africans as they were left to count their losses. Zimbabwe’s victory came against a background where it is mourning the sad loss of its countrymen who perished owing to the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai which caused untold and unprecedented destruction of infrastructure and demise of human life. Even the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Hon. Dr Kirsty Coventry also weighed in by saying that the victory came at the right time and that it was all because of unity that the lads were able to prevail over their opponents.
“This is what happens when a team comes together. This win is made even more special as it was in honour of the families affected by Cyclone Idai. I am so proud of our men, we are so proud of our men” Minister Coventry said.
While we are celebrating this timely victory, ZIFA has already put in motion the preparation plan as there is not much time to celebrate but to start the preparations now if a lasting impression is to be left at the continental football showcase in Egypt. The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) through their President Felton Kamambo have already indicated that there would want the Warriors to go beyond the group stages and in order to do that they were going to camp in Europe and North Africa for at least 2 weeks before the tournament so that they can acclimatize.
“There are some countries that have requested for friendlies and the good thing is that those countries have agreed to fund the trips. We were waiting to qualify and now that it’s done we can go ahead.
“I can also tell you that the players will camp in North Africa for two weeks in order to acclimatize. They will start off in Europe and then come back to finish off in North Africa” Kamambo said.
AFCON tournament is held every 2 years and this is the 4th time that Zimbabwe has qualified for this tournament.