National Under-17 soccer team will play two international friendly matches against their Zambian counterparts this weekend in preparation for the African Youth Championships first round second leg qualifier against Mozambique next weekend.
Report by Sports Reporter
The Young Warriors drew 2-2 with their eastern neighbours at Gwanzura Stadium last week as their journey to the finals to be held in Morocco next year got underway. Zambia, who are expected in the country this afternoon, are using the match to prepare for their second round clash against South Africa in the same competition.
The two neighbours were both given a bye in the first round.
Zimbabwe Junior Football League chairman Zivanai Chiyangwa said the first match against the Young Chipolopolo team will be played at Gwanzura Stadium tomorrow and the second will be at Lafarge on Sunday.
“This friendly match will mark a special day for junior football because we haven’t been able to organise these kind of matches for our team in the past,” said Chiyangwa.
The Young Warriors team is expected to leave Harare by road for Maputo next Wednesday.
Assistant coach Agent Sawu said: “The friendly match is the exposure that we really needed. I think Zambia will be a good opponent because they are known to be strong competitors. Since the match against Mozambique, we haven’t broken camp and we have been working on players techniques and reviewing some tactics.”
On the team’s chances of getting a positive result in Maputo and qualifying for the next round, the former Warriors striker said: “If we can just minimise some individual errors at the back, then we will come right. In the first match the boys showed a lot of character by coming from behind to draw the match. If this team is given the right support, they can go far.”
The team received a morale booster ahead of the match after two local companies, Star Track Freight and Shereni Transport, yesterday donated groceries worth $1 000.
If the Young Warriors manage to clear the Mozambique hurdle, they will play Congo in the second round, while Egypt (seeded) and a winner between Tanzania and Kenya are waiting in the final qualifying round.