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    Sunday, 29 January 2017

    Warriors take aim at Mane’s Senegal


    MASVINGO – AN impressive display at the ongoing AFCON at Francevile Stadium in Gabon by the senior national team on Sunday against a star studded Desert Foxes of Algeria which forced a 2-2 draw was enough to assure the millions following the team at home and abroad that our boys deserve to be in the Big Boy's Club.
    All eyes will be on another showdown with the Lions of Teranga tonight with most of the Warrior's fans hoping for a major upset against Senegal who currently top Group B having beaten Tunisia 2-0 in their first.
    The passion with which Zimbabwe is being supported can best be described by the way the legendary Tinashe Father Nengomasha jumped off the SuperSport desk where he is a pundit when we took the lead against Algeria courtesy of a Nyasha Mushekwi's left footed penalty, and it will not be any different tonight.
    Liverpool forward, Sadio Mane who will be leading the Senegal frontline this week conceded that the Warriors had made a statement and deserved the respect that every other team was being given.
    "Everyone was watching when Zimbabwe was playing and we are sure most people agree with me that they showed that they deserve to be looked at not as underdogs anymore but as any other team at AFCON," said Mane who scored the first goal for Senegal on Sunday night from the penalty spot.
    Even 1996 AFCON champion and Bafana Bafana legend, Andre Arendse who had predicted a 2-1 loss for the Warriors against the Desert Foxes of Algeria and that our boys will be the first to board the first plane back home was forced to swallow his words.
    Senegal qualified without a loss and its rise back to the top has given their fans back home hope that their tag as Africa's perennial failures will eventually come to an end.
    Their clash with Zimbabwe comes after an inspiring outing against Tunisia but again so is Zimbabwe. Very few people believed in Kallisto Pasuwa's man but a cheeky display by African Footballer runner-up Khama Billiat as he weaved his way passed Algeria's experienced defenders on countless occasions, hit the post from 35 yards out and saw his inch perfect placed shot being tipped aside by the Algerian goalie was enough to repent all doubting Thomases.
    "After watching Billiat, Kudakwashe Mahachi and Willard Katsande, Pasuwa has given us hope that he will qualify into the knockout stage," said Mlondolozi Ndlovu a journalist with Radio VOP.
    As expected other fans chipped in with advice for the impressive team.
    "With Marvelous Nakamba coming back from suspension, Pasuwa should give him a place in the starting 11 in Matthew Rusike's place as he is more of a ball player and man marker.
    "He will also complement our attack in the absence of our talisman Knowledge The Smiling Assassin Musona," said one ardent fan Pascal Madiri.
    Musona was substituted on 10 minutes last Sunday with a hamstring injury which has ruled him out of the Senegal tie but Pasuwa confirmed that he might play against Tunisia.
    But like in our last fixture Mahachi, Billiat and company will definitely shoulder the weight of the Smiling Assassin with due diligence.
    Costa Nhamoinesu and defence partner Elisha Muroiwa will have the tough task of keeping Mane and Mame under lock and key tonight with another prolific striker Musa Sow of Fernebarche seating out and ready to get into action when called upon.
    Before coming to the 16 team tournament Sow had scored six overhead goals in six consecutive games he played starting with the wonder strike which sunk Manchester United in their Europa clash late last year.
    The whole of Southern Africa is indeed rooting for the warriors as witnessed by the messages of support on social media and AFCON's broadcast partners.
    What is left is for the boys to put their whole heart into tonight's clash and beat the perennial contenders the Lions of Teranga at the Stade de Franceville.
    Go Warriors Go!!sport news
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    Item Reviewed: Warriors take aim at Mane’s Senegal Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Staff Reporter
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