HomeSportSoccerWarriors land Zambia friendly

Warriors land Zambia friendly

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In a bid to give Norman Mapeza preparation ahead of the next round of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Zifa has confirmed an international friendly match against Zambia on August 10.

The day has been set aside by Fifa for international friendly matches.

Initially Zifa had been looking at Malawi, but the Southern African neighbours took their time in responding and Zifa opted for Chipolopolo.

“They (Zambia) are coming to Harare on August 10. We have confirmed that and they will just put something in writing for us. We had targeted Malawi, but they seemed to dither, but we had to plan ahead and now we have Zambia.

“All we wanted to make sure of was the Warriors get a match before the next home game against Liberia to sharpen up. In the past, we have struggled to get friendly matches, but that is now history and we look forward to this game,” said chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze on thursday.

The game comes as a major boost for Mapeza who has been crying out about preparatory matches ahead of qualifiers.

“We need those friendlies, its good for us. But my main worry is whether all players will be available or not for the match once it’s confirmed. I have not been told about that. I met the president (Cuthbert Dube) last week to finalise on the preparations and we will meet again after the Cosafa championship where everything will be spelt clearly,” Mapeza said on Thursday.

Zimbabwe beat Mali 2-1 at home on June 5 in the last qualifier to remain in the race for a place in next year’s finals.

They have five points from four matches after two draws against surprise leaders Cape Verde Islands and Liberia, a loss against Mali and a win against the same country.

They play Liberia at Rufaro on September 4 and travel to the Cape Verde the following month for the final qualifier.

The Warriors were the best mover on the latest Fifa/Coca-Cola World Ranking rocketing to position 87 from 126.

The latest Warriors world ranking — 87 — is Zimbabwe’s best since 2007 when they ranked in the same position, but they have been taking a tumble on the global football rankings. Zimbabwe recorded their all-time best ranking in April 1995, when they were ranked in position 40.

The Zambia national team climbed by 17 rungs to 72nd on the Fifa Coca-Cola ranking following their 3-0 bashing of Mozambique in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Zambia are leading Group C with nine points, Libya are second on eight points, Mozambique have four points while Comoros Islands have a point.

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