The Futsal (five-a-side) national team troops into camp today ahead of the Fifa Futsal World Cup first round, first leg qualifier clash against South Africa early next month.
The two neighbours meet on the weekend of May 5-7 with the reverse fixture set for Harare two weeks later.
Zimbabwe qualified for the first round after beating Sudan 5-2 in a one-legged preliminary round qualifier early this month.
The match was restricted to a one-off encounter because the Sudanese had no resources to host the reverse fixture.
Coach Frank Ferakazi said he was expecting a better showing from his side.
“That was not our best performance because I had a weak side. Some of the players could not play because they had no passports. We have managed to secure passports for all the players and I will have a strong squad this time around. We are going into camp on Thursday (today) and we will try to use the days left to fine-tune the team. I had wanted to have a friendly match with either Zambia or Mozambique, but I don’t think resources will permit,” said Ferakazi.
South Africa, on the other hand, have stepped up preparations for the match and last weekend they played two friendlies against Mozambique but lost both matches.
Their coach Quinton Allies attended the Zimbabwe–Sudan match to spy on the opposition.
Ferakazi is not worried about that.
“We have a good chance of beating South Africa. Unlike them, we have an organised league and a very broad pool of players. Their coach was here to watch our match, but that will not give me sleepless nights. In fact, it shows that they fear us,” said Ferakazi.
Allies, whose side has been out of action for some time, said the Mozambique match helped in shaking off some rust ahead of the Zimbabwe tie.
“Mozambique are ranked above us in the world when it comes to this sport, so it was important to play against them to get the necessary experience.
“I think my team played to the best of their ability, and from here we know where to rectify to get our national team where we want it to be.
“We will be starting the qualifiers next month, so it’s crucial that we keep on playing such matches so we are not found rusty by our opponents. What we need is consistency in these training camps, and I believe with time it will come,” said Allies.
Zimbabwe are part of the 10 teams that will take part in the first round of the qualifiers whose finals will be played in Thailand.
The other teams are African champions Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Zambia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Cameroon and Libya.